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>I remember first hearing about it as some ominous "substance" that only exists in the emptiest depths of the universe.

It doesn't exist in appreciable amounts anywhere, that anyone knows of. Maybe you're confusing it with dark matter, which has only observed in distant galaxies (because it's only detectable -- to date -- by its gravitational effects).

Antimatter exists on earth. You're generating antimatter right now. One isotope of natural potassium (K-40) emits an antielectron in one in every 10^5 decays [1]. A typical meatbag has enough K-40 for 4,400 decays per second [2] (i.e., 4.4 kBq), so you're spontaneously emitting, on average, about 3 antielectrons per minute from this path.

[1] http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/chart/decaysearchdirect.jsp?nuc=40K&...

[2] http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/natural.htm




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