ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

annihilation

Annihilation is when two things come together and turn into nothing. Imagine you have a toy car and a toy truck. If you crash them together really fast and hard, they might break and turn into little pieces that you can't play with anymore. That's a kind of annihilation.

In science, annihilation means something similar. It usually happens with tiny things called particles. There are two kinds of particles that can annihilate each other: matter particles and antimatter particles. Matter particles are things like electrons and protons that make up everything we see around us. Antimatter particles are like the opposite of matter particles.

When a matter particle and an antimatter particle meet, they can annihilate each other. It's kind of like they cancel each other out. When this happens, they turn into pure energy, like light or heat. This is called annihilation.

Annihilation might sound scary, but it's actually happening all the time in the universe. When stars explode, they create a lot of energy, and sometimes that energy turns into new particles that can annihilate each other. Scientists study annihilation to learn more about how the universe works.
Related topics others have asked about: