Physicists have just achieved the world’s first controlled production of anti-hydrogen atoms, the crucial first step towards precision studies of its properties.
This achievement has opened up the potential to cool, trap and study anti-atoms.
A team from the University of Wales - Swansea, led by Professor Michael Charlton, played a key role in this major breakthrough as part of an international consortium, ATHENA. The Swindon based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council provided funding for the Swansea team of £1.2M over the past 6 years.
“This is a milestone that has opened up new horizons, to enable scientists to study symmetry in nature and explore the fundamental laws of physics which govern the universe, said Prof Charlton. “We are also asking the related question ‘where has all the antimatter gone?’ Today our Universe appears to consist entirely of matter: but we know that equal amounts of matter and antimatter were created in the Big Bang.”
Jane Reck | alfa
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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