CERN Accelerating science

This website is no longer maintained. Its content may be obsolete. Please visit for current CERN information.

<!-- function MM_swapImgRestore() { //v3.0 var i,x,a=document.MM_sr; for(i=0;a&&i<a.length&&(x=a[i])&&x.oSrc;i++) x.src=x.oSrc; } function MM_preloadImages() { //v3.0 var d=document; if(d.images){ if(!d.MM_p) d.MM_p=new Array(); var i,j=d.MM_p.length,a=MM_preloadImages.arguments; for(i=0; i<a.length; i++) if (a[i].indexOf("#")!=0){ d.MM_p[j]=new Image; d.MM_p[j++].src=a[i];}} } function MM_swapImage() { //v3.0 var i,j=0,x,a=MM_swapImage.arguments; document.MM_sr=new Array; for(i=0;i<(a.length-2);i+=3) if ((x=MM_findObj(a[i]))!=null){document.MM_sr[j++]=x; if(!x.oSrc) x.oSrc=x.src; x.src=a[i+2];} } //-->

Antimatter Propulsion
(by Gordon Fraser)

The 1980s US Strategic Defense Initiative program (better known as 'Star Wars') included several projects which looked at the possibility of using antimatter as rocket fuel or to drive space-borne weapons platforms.

Antimatter, converting all its mass into energy, is the ultimate fuel. However first the antimatter would have to be manufactured - there is no 'mine' of antimatter'!

Antimatter is difficult to produce - all the antiprotons produced at CERN during one year would supply enough energy to light a 100 watt electric bulb for three seconds!

In terms of the energy put in to produce high energy proton beams and store them, the efficiency of the antimatter energy production process would be 0.00000001%. Even the steam engine is millions of times more efficient!