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Scientists get step closer to solving the mystery behind most expensive substance in the world

Scientists get step closer to solving the mystery behind most expensive substance in the world

In case you were interested in getting yourself some, it costs £49.5 trillion per gram.

We may be the closest we've ever been to unravelling the mystery behind most expensive substance in the world.

Scientists have been working to better understand it, and it's odd to think that the substance shot to fame following a 2009 film.

The substance is question is called antimatter, and it is defined as matter made up of antiparticles, which is basically the opposite of regular particles that we know and love, that are found in ordinary matter.

As fascinating as it is, it's worth noting that it costs an eye-watering £49.5 trillion per gram.

Antimatter rose to prominence in the film Angels & Demons, starring legendary actor Tom Hanks.

In the mystery thriller, terrorists steal one canister of antimatter from CERN and threaten to murder cardinals in the Vatican following the death of the Pope, planning to work their way up to eventually blowing the city up with the hidden canister.

It is worth noting that antimatter is highly reactive, to the point where it will explode if it comes into contact with ordinary particles - so more or less, anything.

So it's up to Tom Hanks' character, Robert Langdon, a Harvard University professor of symbology, to figure out where the canister has been stashed.

Antimatter made an appearance in the thriller.
Paramount Pictures

The antiparticles in antimatter have a reversed charge, which makes them fascinating to scientists working at CERN.

It goes without saying that the substance is extremely rare, but it can be generated in small amounts such as cosmic ray collisions and select types of radioactive decay.

Producing antimatter costs a lot though, and takes a lot of work, but it is widely believed that antimatter holds the key to discovering more of the universe's several mysteries.

But its annihilation process is the most interesting, as when a particle collides with its antiparticle counterpart, they destroy each other and release high levels of energy in photons and other varying particles.

Antimatter could be incredibly helpful in fields such as medicine, but again, scarcity and cost of production have proved to be an issue.

But it looks like recent discoveries and advancements in antimatter research, like the formation of antihydrogen atoms and observation of anti-nuclei, among other anti-things, offers a beacon of hope in terms of solving the mystery of antimatter.

Tom Hanks had to search for the canister in the film.
Paramount Pictures

But the most peculiar thing about antimatter is its absence in the observable universe, unlike ordinary matter.

The asymmetry of these substances is one of the biggest head-scratchers in the science world today, as scientists continue to work tirelessly to better understand it.

It could help us understand the origins of the universe, revolutionise technology and more, the possibilities are endless if we truly get a grasp on antimatter.

Featured Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

Topics: Science, Space, Technology