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 Beyond the brim, Sombrero Galaxy's halo suggests turbulent past
21.02.2020 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht 10,000 times faster calculations of many-body quantum dynamics possible
21.02.2020 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Active droplets

21.02.2020 | Medical Engineering

Finding new clues to brain cancer treatment

21.02.2020 | Health and Medicine

Beyond the brim, Sombrero Galaxy's halo suggests turbulent past

21.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>