Alejandro Freixes
Mar 7, 2012

VIDEO - CERN technology now measures antimatter atoms

ALPHA collaboration at CERN reports an important milestone on the way to measuring the properties of antimatter atoms. ALPHA's latest advance is the next important milestone on the way to being able to make precision comparisons between atoms of ordinary matter and atoms of antimatter, thereby helping to unravel one of the deepest mysteries in particle physics and perhaps understanding why a Universe of matter exists at all. In the ALPHA apparatus, antihydrogen atoms are trapped by a sophisticated arrangement of magnetic fields acting on the magnetic orientation of the antihydrogen atoms. By shining microwaves with a precisely tuned frequency on the antihydrogen atoms, the collaboration flips the antiatoms' magnetic orientation, thereby liberating antihydrogen from the trap. When this happens, the antihydrogen meets ordinary matter and annihilates, leaving a characteristic pattern in particle detectors surrounding the trap. 

Video and description courtesy of CERN