Antimatter (Edexcel International A Level Physics)

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Katie M


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Properties of Antimatter

  • The universe is made up of matter particles (protons, neutrons, electrons etc.)
  • All matter particles have antimatter counterparts
    • Antimatter particles are identical to their matter counterpart but with the opposite charge

  • This means if a particle is positive, its antimatter particle is negative and vice versa
  • Common matter-antimatter pairs are shown in the diagram below:


This table summarises the electric charge for typical particle-antiparticle pairs

  • Apart from electrons, the corresponding antiparticle pair has the same name with the prefix ‘anti-’ and a line above the corresponding matter particle symbol
  • A neutral particle, such as a neutron or neutrino or photon, is its own antiparticle

Mass of Matter & Antimatter

  • Although antimatter particles have the opposite charges to their matter counterparts, they still have identical mass and rest mass-energy
    • The rest mass-energy of a particle is the energy equivalent to the mass of the particle at rest

Properties of Antiparticles_ Mass & Rest Mass Energy Table, downloadable AS & A Level Physics revision notes

This table summarises typical particle-antiparticle pair masses and rest mass energies

Exam Tip

Though you will not need to memorise individual masses or rest-mass energies, you are expected to remember the mass of a particle-antiparticle pair is identical but they have the opposite electric charge. 

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Katie M

Author: Katie M

Katie has always been passionate about the sciences, and completed a degree in Astrophysics at Sheffield University. She decided that she wanted to inspire other young people, so moved to Bristol to complete a PGCE in Secondary Science. She particularly loves creating fun and absorbing materials to help students achieve their exam potential.

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