Friday, November 5, 2010
Antimatter Atomic Physics -- Walters 330 (6005): 762 -- Science: At the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), there are four major collaborations (ALPHA, ATRAP, AEGIS, and ASACUSA) trying to make very slow (very "cold") antihydrogen (9), the bound state of an antiproton and a positron (see the figure). The purpose is to test the fundamental CPT symmetry of relativistic quantum mechanics—inverting charge, parity, and time—and whether matter and antimatter behave in the same way in a gravitational field (10). There are major problems, such as how to make antihydrogen sufficiently cold, how to trap such a neutral species, and how to obtain it in its lowest energy state. At present, antihydrogen has been formed only in very highly excited states.