Antimatter Production Sites

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jKaiser jKaiser's picture
Antimatter Production Sites
I've been wanting to do something with Mercury recently, and the antimatter facilities struck as one of the biggest sources for intrigue and adventure, but I realized...well, I don't have a flying clue what an antimatter production facility would look like. I know there'd be the particle accelerators and mag-con units, but beyond their basic shape, the books are pretty sparse on the particulars I'd like to build off of. I can assume a few things. Obviously, it would be camouflaged on the surface with a fuckton of the high-efficiency solar panels and thick, thick rock cover. Beyond that, I imagine standard facility basics, personnel habitats, dock, other infrastructure you'd expect from what's basically a self-contained factory, but...what would the production aspects look like? Ideas or suggestions?
FNR FNR's picture
I always pictured antimatter
I always pictured antimatter production sites like this: You have the surface plastered with solar panels and something like a space port to ship the antimatter off world. Then there is the particle accelerator, a huge ring under the surface and an antimatter containment/storage at one side of the ring. On the other side of the ring could be the habitat, storage for anything except the antimatter, etc. The production process would be completely automated. You inject protons into the accellerator. You collide the particles. The antimatter produced is somehow trapped and transported into the main storage containment. All this overwatched by AI systems. I think the only people at the facility would be: - maintanace crews - to keep everything running - security to prevent sabotage / espionage by competitors - scientists to do, well science. - logistic crews who handle getting resources and shipping the antimatter
Panoptic Panoptic's picture
Security would have to be
Security would have to be pretty tight. It doesn't take much antimatter to be stolen or sabotaged to create a huge problem.
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Noble Pigeon Noble Pigeon's picture
If antimatter production is
If antimatter production is entirely automated then I'd assume that Mesh security would be just as tight as physical security, double so if the Mesh isn't hardwired.
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UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Given the high energy
Given the high energy reactions and magnets involved, I'd say mesh would definitely need to be hardwired in most cases. Both to prevent interference from the actual reaction process, and as part of the shielding for the whole thing. Actual operations will all be airgapped with physical interfaces wherever possible, and guards watching the shebang. Antimatter has to be a pretty big ticket industry, so I would assuming nothing is half-assed. 3/4-assed, at worst.
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branford branford's picture
I would also imagine that
I would also imagine that these facilities will be very BIG. Particles accelerators, storage and containment, administrative facilities, life-support, security, etc., would make these facilities huge in order to be viable and profitable.
jKaiser jKaiser's picture
So, realistically, the
So, realistically, the antimatter part of the facility is going to be a comparatively small part. You'd have your main collider(s) with, I assume, attached mag-con bubbles, whatever processing space is needed, manufacturing space for the shipping mag-con coffins, a shipping dock or mass driver (someone who knows how magnets even work let me know if that would be something they can do without compromising the mag-con). That about covers the actual production line. The rest of the place is going to be habitation, labs, smaller research accelerators, and the infrastructure woven between (security, reactors, etc.) It being a terrestrial facility, the layout would probably look like a spiderweb of colliders with nooks and crannies crammed with the support stuff?
ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
UnitOmega wrote:Given the
UnitOmega wrote:
Given the high energy reactions and magnets involved, I'd say mesh would definitely need to be hardwired in most cases. Both to prevent interference from the actual reaction process, and as part of the shielding for the whole thing. Actual operations will all be airgapped with physical interfaces wherever possible, and guards watching the shebang. Antimatter has to be a pretty big ticket industry, so I would assuming nothing is half-assed. 3/4-assed, at worst.
I think you mean 1/4 assed :P Ars Technica recently visited the LHC and took some pictures: http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/04/a-rare-lhc-tour-avoiding-radiatio...