The most expensive substances in the world

by Kate Abraham

Many people are actually unaware of the immense prices which are paid for particular substances available in our world. It is even difficult to imagine how expensive some of them can be since their value is going beyond imagination even of very wealthy people. If you are already intrigued, you will find the most valuable substances in this article.

Antimatter

You will hardly find a more expensive substance than antimatter in this world so far. Do not even bother yourself trying to imagine how much such a substance might cost. The price for antimatter is measured in trillions of dollars. Currently, one gram of antihydrogen costs between 62.5 and 100 trillions of American dollars!

If you are acquainted with the terms of quantum physics, you might now that antimatter is a substance consisting of antiparticles. Antiparticles are very similar to regular particles, however, their charge is opposite. According to the current theory, big bang caused the creation of equal amounts of matter and antimatter. Still, the galaxies we can observe today consist of regular matter rather than antimatter. This puzzle is still to be solved.

The reason one we cannot find antimatter in our world is simple – once antimatter and matter touch each other, they destroy each other. This leads to an immense release of energy. Yet, the existence of antimatter is not a mere theory and the price mentioned at the beginning of the text is based on the costs of the creation of such a substance in the laboratory. It is possible and several research organisations have already managed to do it. For example, the physics of CERN in Switzerland have created 309 antiprotons. The scientists have even managed to keep the substances for 17 minutes which is quite a lot taking into consideration the unstable nature of antimatter.

As you can imagine, the process of creation of such a substance as well as the complications coming from the storage of it are making it thus expensive. For the time being, it can be found exclusively in the laboratories of CERN in Switzerland, Tevatron in the USA as well as in DESY in Germany.

You might be wondering what is the purpose of spending thus much money on some the creation of such a weird substance. Actually, antimatter might be the most powerful substance in the world will can be used as a fuel for rocket ships. One spoon of this substance will be enough to supply the whole cities with electricity for long decades. Thus, experimenting with the substance is worth trying.

Astatine

Of course, if you compare the price of astatine to the price of antimatter, you might think it is not thus expensive after all. The price for a single gram of this substance starts with a milliard of dollars.

As you can guess from the name of this substance, it is a chemical element and its price suggests it is the most rare one you can find on our planet. In point of fact, you will hardly find it as, according to the scientific estimations, there is only a single gram of astatine available in the core of the Earth.

Yet, scientists know how to create this element in laboratories. There are 36 cyclotrons on our planet which are capable of producing astatine, however, there is no particular sense in doing it. The process of creation is rather expensive and complicated. Actually, it is not possible right now to create enough of astatine so that it will be visible. In all likelihood, it might have some visual features of both silver and iodine.

There is no practical appliance of astatine so far as it is extremely radioactive and unstable.

Californium‑252

Actually, there is a variety of extremely rare elements which are certainly highly expensive. As you now know, astatine is the most expensive of all of them. Yet, if you look at those of them which are actually valuable for people and are not just pricey, Californium‑252 is exactly such a chemical element.

It is rather difficult to produce Californium‑252. Currently, only two laboratories in the world located in the USA and Russia can produce this substance. Since Californium‑252 is highly unstable, thus its storage also costs a lot. The minimum price for a single gram of this unique element starts from 27 million dollars.

Even though managing the production and storage of Californium‑252 is a very complicated task, it is used as a source of neutrons in the nuclear reactors. In addition to it, this metal is used for treating several forms of cancer including the brain cancer as well as in metal detectors.

Regolith

There is no doubt that people should have taken some substances from the space and these substances would be extremely expensive. Regolith is exactly such a substance and it comes from the Moon since regolith is lunar dust. Actually, there is nothing particular about this rare material, This is just a mixture of various substances coming from eruptions as well as created by a high temperature impact of meteors.

Currently, there are a bit more than two kilogrammes of regolith on the Earth. The largest amount of this substance was brought to the Earth by Chinese stations. The price for a gram of this substance is 4.28 million dollars.

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