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Exotic matter

Exotic matter is a hypothetical concept of particle physics. It covers any material which violates one or more classical conditions or is not made of known baryonic particles. Such materials would possess qualities like negative mass or being repelled rather than attracted by gravity. It is used in certain speculative theories, such as on the construction of wormholes. The closest known real representative of exotic matter is a region of negative energy density produced by the Casimir effect.

Although no known particles have negative mass, physicists (primarily Robert L. Forward) have been able to describe some of the anticipated properties such particles may have. Negative mass would produce "negative gravity" that repels ordinary positive mass, but would be attracted to positive mass and other negative mass particles in a normal matter.

For a negative value of m1 with positive value of m2, F is negative (repulsive). At first glance it would appear that a negative mass would accelerate away from a positive mass, but by Newton's law

If m is negative and F is negative, then a must be positive - the negative mass accelerates toward the positive mass. If m is positive, however, and F is still negative, then a is negative and the positive mass accelerates away from the negative mass. It can be shown that if m1 and m2 are of equal but opposite mass, then the combined system of positive and negative particles will accelerate indefinitely without any additional input into the system.

This behaviour is bizarre, in that it's completely inconsistent with our 'normal universe' common sense expected behaviour from working with positive masses, but it is completely mathematically consistent and introduces no apparent contradictions when physics analysis is performed on the behaviours.

Naïve first impressions are that this violates conservation of momentum and/or energy, but in fact if the masses are equal in magnitude, one being of positive value and the other negative, then the momentum of the system is zero if they both travel together and accelerate together, no matter what speed:

...and an equivalent equation can be calculated for Ke.

Forward also showed that if m(-) and m(+) are not the same magnitude of mass, the equations are still consistent.

Some of the behaviours this seems to introduce are really bizarre, such as a comingled positive matter gas and negative matter gas having the positive matter portion increase in temperature without bound. However, the negative matter portion gains negative temperature at the same rate, again balancing out.

Forward has proposed a design for spacecraft propulsion using negative mass that requires no energy input and no reaction mass to achieve arbitrarily high acceleration, though of course a major obstacle to the construction of such a spacecraft is the fact that negative mass remains purely hypothetical.

The term Exotic matter is also casually attached to any material which would be difficult to produce (such as metallic hydrogen or a Bose-Einstein condensate) or which exhibits unusual properties (such as fullerenes or nanotubes), even though these materials are relatively mundane in their composition. It could also refer to material composed of some form of exotic atom.

Compare to strange matter, dark matter, WIMP.