## Anti-Matter Costs for Space Travel |

Antimatter Production for Near-term Propulsion Applications(Link to PDF)

By G.R. Schmidt, H.P.Gerrish, J.J. Martin, G.A. Smith and K.J. Meyer

The conversion of input energy into the rest mass energy of the antimatter can be expressed via the following equation:

η = E_{out}/ E_{in}

Where:

η:Conversion Efficiency of the process.E_{out}:Rest Mass Energy of the collected anti-matter. (1.79 x 10^{14}Joules for one gram)E_{in}:Energy placed into antimatter production plant.

**NOTES: **A perfectly efficient antimatter production process
(which is a practical impossibility, like 100% efficient energy
conversion) would have a η
of 0.5 due to the fact that in
order to create an anti-proton, you have to create its standard
particle counterpart.

**Present Day**
production facilities with an acceleration energy of 120 GeV
and a collection ratio of 1:100,000 exist at such places as Fermilab
and CERN. They have a overall η
of 4 x 10^{-8} with a 50% wall plug
efficiency factor. Producing one gram of anti-protons would require
4.5 x 10^{21} Joules – or 1.25 million terawatt hours
(1,250 PW/h).

**Near-Future **production
facilities with an acceleration energy of 200 GeV and a collection
ratio of 1:20 are thought possible by NASA. They would have a overall
η
of 10^{-4} with a 50% wall plug
efficiency factor. Producing one gram of anti-protons would require
1.78 x 10^{18} Joules – or 494 terawatt hours.

**Far Future** production facilities with an overall η
of 10^{-2}
would require only 1.78 x 10^{16} Joules, which breaks down
as 4,944 gigawatt/hours or 4.94 terawatt/hours.

**Magi-Tech** production facilities with an overall η
of 0.49 like *Star Trek's* antimatter
production plants which simply “flip” normal protons into
antiprotons via woo-tech would require merely 3.65 x 10^{14}
Joules, which breaks down to merely 101.4~ gigawatt/hours.

To help clarify some of these numbers, here are some real world examples:

2008 World Power Generation (Complete):19,103~ terawatt-hours.3,953 terawatt-hours.

2009 U.S. Power Generation (Complete):2009 U.S. Power Generation (Nuclear Only):798~ terawatt-hours.

**Slow Interstellar Exploration: (4.5 Light Years in 40 years –
30,000 km/sec delta V)**

Single Stage Antimatter Beamed Core Rocket(80,000 km/sec ev): 51 metric tons of dry mass and payload, plus 24 metric tons of antimatter for an all up launch weight of 75 metric tons. 4.27 x 10^{23}J of energy needed.

**Fast Interstellar Exploration: (4.5 Light Years in 10 years –
120,000 km/sec delta V)**

Single Stage Antimatter Beamed Core Rocket(80,000 km/sec exhaust velocity): 51 metric tons of dry mass and payload, plus 179 metric tons of antimatter for an all up launch weight of 230 metric tons. 3.19 x 10^{24}J of energy needed.