Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fleeting antimatter trapped for a quarter of an hour - physics-math - 03 May 2011 - New Scientist

Fleeting antimatter trapped for a quarter of an hour: The ALPHA team want to keep antimatter intact long enough to study it, so last year they worked out how to hold a cloud of antihydrogen in a magnetic trap. Not for long, though: collisions with trace gases would have either annihilated the anti-atoms or given them the energy to escape, so the team opened the trap after 170 milliseconds and observed the resulting annihilations, verifying that antimatter had been made.

Now they have repeated the experiment, this time waiting much longer before opening the trap. They also cooled the antiprotons used to create the antihydrogen much further, which lowered the energy of the antimatter, allowed more to be squeezed into the trap and raised the chance that some would last longer

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