Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First controlled production of atomic antimatter

19.09.2002


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.”



The first step in producing anti-atoms is to confine positive and negative antiparticles in traps at very low temperature. Then they are slowly allowed to react in ultra-high vacuum, which is essential, as the antiparticles will annihilate when they meet normal matter. The result of the interaction is the first and simplest of anti-atoms, anti-hydrogen.

The breakthrough is timely as it coincides with the centenary of the birth of Paul Dirac, who first predicted in 1930, that every particle has an equivalent antiparticle. The British physicists at Swansea played a vital role in the project by making the trap for the positively charged antiparticles, known as positrons.

Professor Charlton acknowledges the support he has received for this research, “EPSRC took a chance in funding this highly speculative project in 1996. This acted as a catalyst, which persuaded other countries to contribute to the ATHENA consortium.”

Jane Reck | alfa

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Scientists reach back in time to discover some of the most power-packed galaxies
28.02.2017 | Clemson University

nachricht From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Existence of a new quasiparticle demonstrated

28.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sustainable ceramics without a kiln

28.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Biofuel produced by microalgae

28.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>