For the first time scientists from CERN (European Centre for Nuclear Research) got antihydrogen in the framework of ASAVUSA experiment, reports the Centre’s site. The respective article by the scientists appeared in Nature Communications journal.
In the experiment antiprotons from AD decelerator are mixed with positrons (antielectrons) in a special trap. At the same time antiprotons are cooled down to 200 Kelvin, and positrons to 40 Kelvin. During the reaction they form antihydrogen atoms. The paper reported about registration of 80 atoms of this substance.
It’s not the first time that antihydrogen is got. But this time scientists for the first time managed to transport antihydrogen atoms to a region for spectroscopic analysis. Complexity of this task is that antihydrogen annihilates (i.e. turns into radiation) after a contact with any common matter. Usually a strong alternating magnetic field is used to control atoms, but in the new experiment in the region the field alteration was extremely small (the region is located at a distance of 2,7 m from the antimatter source).
According to the scientists, a new result is the first step to studying spectral properties of antihydrogen. The spectrum study will become the most accurate experimental check of the so-called CPT-symmetry by now. It follows from this symmetry that hydrogen and antihydrogen atom spectra must be identical. A slightest violation of this symmetry may mean that the existing notions of the matter are false.
For the first time antihydrogen atoms were got in CREN in 1995. Got in 2010 for the first time during ALPHA experiment was cold antihydrogen, i.e. antimatter, atoms of which moved very slowly. In 2012 physicists got an opportunity to study the antimatter – hydrogen atoms were kept in a trap for about 1000 seconds.