Star Trek: Antimatter Engines vs. Today: Antimatter Engine Research
When matter and antimatter touch, the result is a colossal burst of energy. The starship Enterprise’s warp-drive engines used this exotic cocktail to attain faster-than-light speeds. Today’s scientists are just beginning to work with antimatter, which is extremely difficult to create on Earth. The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, which closed in 2007, had been funding a team of researchers working on a design for an antimatter-powered spaceship. Private tech firms such as Positronics Research
are researching antimatter propulsion systems as well. But don’t expect to hop aboard an antimatter rocket anytime soon. In his book Physics of the Impossible
, physicist Michio Kaku speculates that such craft may, at best, be decades away.