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What are the Most Valuable Substances in the world?

What substances are the most expensive in the world?

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The most expensive substances in the world are all related to exotic physics. Plutonium, gold, saffron and even diamonds are nothing compared to the three categories of the most expensive substances: various exotic particles like bottom quarks land at the top three spot, hafnium and tantalum isomers that cost about USD $480 million an ounce at the top two spot and antimatter such as antiatoms like antihydrogen that are tagged at a whopping USD $1,750 trillion an ounce at the top spot.

The price of antimatter has tremendously gone down since 1999 when it cost roughly USD $62.5 trillion or about USD $1.75 quadrillion per ounce. The cost of the equipment used to create antimatter is extremely expensive. What physicists do is use particle accelerators to generate huge amounts of electromagnetic energy to create both antimatter and conventional matter at the same time. They then use magnets to extract the antimatter. They typically produce antiprotons or a combination of antiprotons with antielectrons or positrons to yield antihydrogen.

Being one of the most useful substances in the world, antimatter definitely deserves the bragging rights of the most expensive substance of all time. In theory, antimatter possesses the most optimum energy density any energy source can ever have. A kilogram of antimatter is comparable to about 47 megatons of TNT or to the largest nuclear bomb ever ignited. Its immense density has the ability to speed up a payload at a very significant fraction of the speed of light and there are very few known technologies that can match this ability.

The next most expensive substances after antimatter are hafnium and tantalum isomers as well as other exotic matter. These substances, however, are still incomparable to antimatter. Nuclear isomers have matching number of protons and neutrons just like typical elements, the only difference being the presence of at least one nucleon in an excited state and therefore they have significantly greater energy than their standard counterpart. These types of isomers can be triggered to send out gamma rays and was believed to be the “fuel of the future” at one point in time, but they are highly unstable and still require a lot of work to match that of the qualities of antimatter.

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