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Antimatter atom trapped and measured with a laser for first time

New Scientist

According to the standard model of particle physics, these anti-atoms should absorb and emit light at the same wavelengths as hydrogen. Jeffrey Hangst and his colleagues in the ALPHA collaboration, based at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, managed to trap 14 antihydrogen atoms at once – a dramatic improvement over the one or two atoms of previous experiments. Improving the accuracy might flag up any possible discrepancies in energy levels between the two, which would undermine the standard model of physics. "Even the smallest discrepancy in the atoms' spectrum would violate the standard model" "This is really a milestone that they have achieved," says Michael Doser of CERN's AEgIS collaboration, one of ALPHA's competitors in the race to probe antimatter.


Antimatter atom trapped and measured with a laser for first time

New Scientist

Hydrogen's antimatter counterpart has shown its true colours, and they are just what physicists ordered. Antihydrogen atoms are made of a positron (a positively charged version of the electron) orbiting a negatively charged antiproton. According to the standard model of particle physics, these anti-atoms should absorb and emit light at the same wavelengths as hydrogen. Now antihydrogen's spectrum has been measured at last, and it confirms the prediction. Antimatter is notoriously difficult to work with, because the moment it touches normal matter both annihilate in an explosion of smaller particles and radiation.


Why Measuring Antimatter Is The Key To Our Universe

Forbes - Tech

The galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5 3745, must be made of matter just like we are, or there would be evidence of matter-antimatter annihilation along the line of sight. When aliens come to our Solar System, hail us and send us their very first message, it likely won't be, "take us to your leader," but rather, "are you made of matter or antimatter?" Based on all the observations we've ever made, it appears that all the structures we know of in the Universe -- planets, stars, gas, galaxies and more -- are made of matter and not antimatter. There are signs of matter/antimatter annihilation, but the antimatter we see is less than 0.1% of the matter in all locations. One the one hand, we know our Universe is dominated by matter and not antimatter; we might be so confident in this fact that we'd be willing to shake hands with an alien without even asking the key question.


Column: Scientists isolate antimatter, shedding light on matter's elusive twin

PBS NewsHour

CERN's ALPHA project traps antimatter particles before they can bump into and be annihilated by regular matter. It is a particularly exciting time to be a physicist, particularly in Australia. In mid-2012, the Higgs boson was discovered at CERN, and physicists from Melbourne contributed to the development of the ATLAS detector that participated in the discovery. Then came the first direct detection of gravitational waves in early 2016, with Australian contributors from the University of Adelaide, the Australian National University and the University of Western Australia. Now, just reported in Nature, is another breakthrough in fundamental physics, this time concerning antimatter.


Antimatter just got a little bit less mysterious

Popular Science

Antimatter, the equal-but-opposite twin of regular old stuff, is a finicky material. It's only in the past 20 years that scientists have been able to create the simplest atoms of antimatter and keep them stable. Now they have made the first measurements of antihydrogen's internal structure. Hydrogen is the first element in the periodic table, and consists of one electron orbiting one proton. Its mirror antihydrogen has one anti-electron, or positron, and one antiproton.