In 1928 Paul Dirac wrote an equation (the Dirac Equation) that combined special relativity and quantum theory to describe particles moving at high speeds, winning him a Nobel Prize. It suggested that for every particle with a positive charge (the kind we're used to), there exists another particle with a negative charge, called an antiparticle. These pairs of particles are the same but with opposite charges.

These antiparticles, or antimatter were discovered in the 1930s and are continuing to be studied and even produced today. Antimatter can be created by smashing two particles together in a machine called a particle accelerator such as the ones at CERN. Scientists at CERN have created 50,000 antihydrogen atoms. The study of antimatter will reach a new level upon the completion of CERN's Large Hadron Collider (or LHC) to be completed in 2007.

Antimatter releases energy with 100 percent efficiency versus much less efficient forms of energy production like nuclear fission. Although a long way from being harnessed as an energy source, the implications of creating energy from antimatter are intriguing. It could lead to the world's most efficient source of energy or the world's most destructive weapon. Because antimatter by nature is difficult to produce and store it remains to be seen if it will ever be a practical source of energy. In any case, it will be interesting to see what comes of the antimatter experiments when the LHC at CERN is completed.