Forget diamonds, gold and even saffron – you’ve probably never heard of the world’s most expensive material.
Priced at a staggering $62.5 trillion per gram, just a small amount of this mysterious substance is more than half the value of the world’s economy ($105 trillion).
The world’s most expensive material is associated with science fiction, however, it is a real substance.
In Dan Brown’s, Angels and Demons, Professor Langdon tries to save Vatican City from a bomb made from it.
Star Trek’s starship Enterprise uses it to for fuel for faster-than-light travel.
Plentiful when the Universe began, it’s becoming increasingly rare.
If stars and planets are made from matter, antimatter is the same but with an opposite electric charge and spin.
Both were created in equal amounts when the Big Bang happened.
When matter and antimatter meet, they destroy each other to produce energy.
Meaning that, in a cosmos dominated by matter, antimatter doesn’t stand a chance.
Meanwhile lithium, also known as ‘white gold, is another precious and expensive substance, a wealth of which was recently discovered in California.
The find could massively help in the shift towards electric vehicles.
Back to antiparticles: they’re made sporadically throughout the universe.
In fact, scientists have seen evidence of antimatter production above thunderstorms.
Wait for it: even human bodies create an infinitesimally small amount of these particles.
With potential revolutionary applications in energy sources and medicine, humans have been able to create their own.
These particles are formed in ultra-high-speed collisions at huge particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland.
This unprecedented machine is operated by CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research).
However, this antimatter has to be handled with care.
Antimatter-matter annihilations have the potential to release a huge amount of energy.
A gram of antimatter produces an explosion the size of a nuclear bomb.