"Well I must say even for someone like me, that does sound intriguing." William added as he sat down opposite Thomas, handing the nervous man a drink, before sitting back and taking a sip of the golden brown liquid himself.
Thomas meanwhile, didn't sit back. His elbows were on his knees, his free hand was frantically fumbling around with his chin in an attempt to calm his thoughts. After a short while however he gulped down a mouthful for the same reason.
"So..." William coaxed with a smile on his face. "Are you going to tell me?"
After taking another gulp Thomas locked eyes with William and composed himself.
"Because of the complex nature of this topic, and since I don't know how much you know about astrophysics or even science in general, I feel it's logical to start from the beginning and work my way up, so that you can follow along."
"That makes sense." William agreed. Again with that warm smile that seemed to calm even the most distressed of souls.
"Ok so." Thomas began. "Despite your lack of interest in science, even you will know, the world we live on, all the animals and plants, all the stars in the sky and indeed everything in the known universe is made up of matter. Plain old ordinary matter that forms the building blocks of everything."
"Well I'm glad you have finally realised that fact old friend! I'm glad that brings you such happiness!" William chuckled, pleased with his little joke.
Thomas didn't react, this was no time for jokes. He continued as if nothing had happened.
"Well, alongside this "normal" matter, and I use the term "normal" because it comes down to perspective, there is also Anti-matter."
A spark of recognition ignited in Williams mind.
"Yes, yes I remember you talking about this before! Atoms that have different properties than normal...they have a different electric charge or something around that area? In the same way two ends of a magnet have different charges?" William queried, taking another sip from his glass. Thomas meanwhile was quite surprised William had recalled anything about his last lecture, he had always assumed that his friend forgot almost everything the moment Thomas left the room. So this unexpected amount of retention did come as a pleasant surprise. It was nice to be on at least a similar page as his best friend, it made a change from the normal difficulties they had faced throughout their time together.
As children Thomas would spend his days reading scientific journals until he found something that intrigued him. He would then enthuse to William endlessly about the latest theory or most recent findings. Explaining both how and why those finding were made. Meanwhile William was more bothered about his new shoes or fancy new watch, not really listening to Thomas rant on.
This caused some tension between them initially, as Thomas would get frustrated with Williams lax attitude. The workings of the universe being, from his perspective, much more important than the logo that was printed on your top. Eventually however, Thomas began to accept his friend's different outlook, deciding it was better to have a slightly disconnected friend then none at all.
So this recollection came as a bit of a shock, and Thomas was quite proud of him. He just hoped to high heaven that William remembered what he was going to tell him next.
"Yes along those lines, Anti-matter has the exact opposite charge to normal matter but the same mass; a sort of mirror image of each other. A hydrogen atom that is made up of one electron and one proton, will have the same atomic weight of an anti-matter hydrogen atom that is made up of the anti-matter equivalents. Protons have a positive charge and electrons have a negative charge, the anti-matter copies have the corresponding opposites."
YOU ARE READING
The Invisible UniverseScience Fiction
What lies beyond the senses? What secrets have been hidden from you due to your physical limitations? Is the universe as empty as it seems? Are we alone? Dr Thomas Clark has just made a discovery that will answer all of those questions... Hope yo...