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Science Fiction
(by Rosy Mondardini)

The excitement caused by the discovery of the positron in 1932 was felt beyond the scientific world: science fiction writers were quick to exploit the new discovery as an attractive plot device. Their imagination produced visions of antiworlds, antistars and antiuniverses, all made entirely of antimatter. Some foresaw matter-antimatter annihilation as the most powerful source of energy in the cosmos, for the propulsion of starships that could travel faster than light.

While science fiction is entertaining, it is not science. Lawrence Krauss' book 'The Physics of Star Trek' is a constructive criticism of antimatter science fiction.

And here's a selection of antimatter science fiction:

  • Seetee stories, by J. Williamson (1940s). The "seetee" or CT (for "contra-terrene" or "antiEarthlike") stories are perhaps the best known, and the first to appear in the field of antimatter science fiction.
  • Robot series of stories, by I. Asimov (1940s). Mankind creates a new generation of robots with "positronic brains" as complex as those of humans. The robot brains are laced with minuscule pathways, carved out by positrons, that carry information just as neurons do in a human brain.
  • Storm, by A.E. Van Vogt (1943) A huge storm in space is caused by a gas cloud made of ordinary matter coming into contact with an antimatter gas cloud.
  • I am a stranger here myself, by J. Bridger (1950). Mankind learns from aliens how to travel faster than the speed of light by "multi-phase travel", based on transforming matter into antimatter.
  • Beep, by J. Blish (1954). Blish manipulates Dirac's original mathematical calculations to create an instantaneous signalling device using electrons and positrons.
(Science Fiction - page1 of 2)
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