Recently I had attended a lecture by Dr David Cassidy at UCL (9/12/16) on the topic of Anti-Matter, his lecture covered the basics on the topic while also got rid of misconceptions that have arisen with anti-matter in the science community.
One of the main misconceptions that exist at the moment that anti-matter can be used as a viable space rocket fuel. This is simply not true. The idea it can be used as fuel has arisen due to the rise in science fiction movies such as star trek in which antimatter is used as fuel for rockets traversing the universe in speeds unparalleled. One of the basis is that the collision brought about by antimatter and normal matter produce millions of times more even than that of nuclear fission and so would be a way to prepulse a space rockets at unfathomable distances. However this is simply not the case.
One of the biggest drawbacks is that it is impossible to synthesize enough antimatter in order for this kind of propulsion to work. In fact in the 50 years that CERN has been active for has only managed to produce 10 nanograms, is a testimonial to how rare it is. This is the most amount of antimatter produce anywhere. This much anti-matter would be able to power a lightbulb for around a few hours.
It is matter consisting of the elementary particles which are the antiparticles of those within matter.
To be able to see where anti-matter comes from it is from the famous equation:
E=mc² is the equation of special relativity by Einstein however the real equation is
E²=m²c4+p²c² which means that E= √m²c4+p²c²
This results in E= plus or minus mc²
In normal physics there cannot be negative energy so it is only E-mc², but in quantum mechanics negative energy does exists and it is very real. This is where the antimatter comes from.
Antiparticle beams can be created using radioactive materials to gather anti-electrons( positrons)
Positronium molecule: Ps
Is an unstable atomic structure. It is a bound state between electron and its antiparticle positron. These (antimatter) is used for medical purposes, as it allows looking into people's brains, the study of fundamental physics and the understanding of chemistry.
However it will never be useful as an energy source as we cannot make it.
Some questions that are still not answered as we learn more about anti-matter is that why is their only matter? Surely they interact and cancel each other out.
These question and more are reasons why physicists are researching in order to understand the universe more.