Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Anti-Matter Questions

Question 1

Do you think using antimatter as a weapon or an energy source is realistic? Should we be concerned about "mad scientists"?


As a fan of Star Trek I would have to say the idea of a warp core sounds fascinating. The ability to have a power source that could take a star ship to warp speeds and across the galaxy sounds amazing. Of course, that's just science fiction and the near term possibilities of anything even remotely worthwhile happening in the field of antimatter science during my current lifetime seems very unlikely whether that means harnessing it as a power source or using it as some kind of weapon. It's hard to know or guess the future, after all breakthroughs do occur that have potentially widespread repercussions in the field of science research and development, but I say that with my current understanding of where we are in energy source research we might as well keep working at stuff that has more near term benefit than something with far off, questionable, and possibly currently unfeasible potential.

"Mad scientists," though, are a slightly different matter that I would consider not so much an individual using science to cause trouble, but rather a small group of scientists who might not have as much concern for ethics or modern scientific procedure. These groups might just go ahead and follow dangerous practices or research that would typically be at the center of major discussions and arguments. Even worse than someone brilliant, yet crazy, though is the person responsible for making use of anything that scientists develop. The scientists who created the first atomic bomb aren't exactly the ones that people are afraid of as that belongs to those individuals in either the military or civilian government who are responsible for using the shiny new toys that scientists have developed. "Mad scientists" might be brilliant, but unless they are crazy and bent on some kind of human or world extermination I recon they might just spend their time mostly harmlessly occupying their time with other things like one Professor Hubert Farnsworth. It's only when mad genius combines with terrible ambitions does someone need to start being worried and, mostly, those don't go hand in hand in ways that matter much nowadays.


  1. Jason,
    I agree with your first paragraph. It seems so far off , with warp rives, anti-matter,and other Sci-Fi stuff that i would love to happen. That is why I feel the anti-matter type weapons will not exists until we are about 100 years old. As for energy weapons, they have made giant laser guns that can punch through titanium and steel. These weapons are very costly and use a lot of energy. As of right now it is being tested for anti-missile defense. Having said that, I still think energy weapons are off, but like you said, you never know. It was not long ago that man could not fly.

    As for mad scientists, I do think it is theoretically possible for a scientist to push too far. Let's say they accidentally link computers together and have them launch nukes. OR scientist may accidentally create a bug or virus that creates a pandemic. having said that, history has given us few mad scientists let alone those who had the ability to destroy or take over the world, a la Dupenshmert Evil Incorporated.

  2. You guys are awesome. I really enjoyed reading this exchange. So interesting to contemplate!