[Ads-l] Antedating of "Antimatter" for Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

James Landau 00000c13e57d49b8-dmarc-request at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Mon Mar 8 23:10:37 UTC 2021

on  Sun, 7 Mar 2021 21:55:23 Zone-0500   ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>  et al posted
<quote>Excellent citation, Fred. Nice quick update, Jesse. It looks like the
OED places anti-matter under anti-particle with the same 1953

Here is an instance of "anti-matter' with the desired sense in 1934.

Date: Feb. 24, 1934
Journal: The Science News-Letter
Volume 25, Number 672
Article: Existence of Anti-Photon Suggested by Nobelist
Start Page 115, Quote Page 115, Column 2
Published by: Society for Science & the Public


[Begin excerpt]
The sources behaved in every way like respectable atoms. For the sinks
one had to assume a kind of negative or anti-matter. This was the
difficult which kept those old theories of matter in the realm of
fantastic speculation, although the mathematics was perfect.
[End excerpt]


On Sun, Mar 7, 2021 at 9:43 PM Jesse Sheidlower <jester at panix.com> wrote:
> Thanks, Fred. Updated.
> On Mon, Mar 08, 2021 at 02:05:45AM +0000, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> > antimatter (Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction 1953)
> >
> > "Antimatter" occurs in the 1948 book Cosmic rays and nuclear physics by the physicist Lajos Jánossy:
> >
> > The other type of matter might be called the "anti matter." In collision the two types of matter would annihilate each other and give rise to intense radiation.
> >
> > Fred Shapiro
<end quote>
The Wikipedia article on antimatter  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimatter includes the following:
The idea of negative matter appears in past theories of matter that have now been abandoned. Using the once popular vortex theory of gravity, the possibility of matter with negative gravity was discussed by William Hicks in the 1880s. Between the 1880s and the 1890s, Karl Pearson proposed the existence of "squirts"[11] and sinks of the flow of aether. The squirts represented normal matter and the sinks represented negative matter. Pearson's theory required a fourth dimension for the aether to flow from and into.[12]The term antimatter was first used by Arthur Schuster in two rather whimsical letters to Nature in 1898,[13] in which he coined the term. He hypothesized antiatoms, as well as whole antimatter solar systems, and discussed the possibility of matter and antimatter annihilating each other. Schuster's ideas were not a serious theoretical proposal, merely speculation, and like the previous ideas, differed from the modern concept of antimatter in that it possessed negative gravity.[14]The modern theory of antimatter began in 1928, with a paper[15] by Paul Dirac. Dirac realised that his relativistic version of the Schrödinger wave equation for electrons predicted the possibility of antielectrons. These were discovered by Carl D. Anderson in 1932 and named positrons (a portmanteau of "positive electron"). Although Dirac did not himself use the term antimatter, its use follows on naturally enough from antielectrons, antiprotons, etc.[16] A complete periodic table of antimatter was envisaged by Charles Janet in 1929.[17]

[15]  Dirac, P. A. M. (1928). "The Quantum Theory of the Electron". Proceedings of the Royal Society A. 117 (778): 610–624. Bibcode:1928RSPSA.117..610D. doi:10.1098/rspa.1928.0023. JSTOR 94981
.[16]   Kaku, M.; Thompson, J. T. (1997). Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe. Oxford University Press. pp. 179–180. ISBN 978-0-19-286196-2.
[17]   Stewart, P. J. (2010). "Charles Janet: Unrecognized genius of the periodic system". Foundations of Chemistry. 12 (1): 5–15. doi:10.1007/s10698-008-9062-5. S2CID 171000209.

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