Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Antihydrogen Trapped For 1000 Seconds

The long term storage of significant amounts of antihydrogen should soon settle the question of whether antimatter falls up or down

Antihydrogen is rare in our part of the Universe. Indeed, it was only last year that scientists at CERN’s Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) managed to trap a significant amount of the stuff for the first time, albeit only 38 antiatoms for just 172 milliseconds.

Today, they announce a significant improvement. These guys now say they’ve trapped 309 antihydrogen atoms for up to 1000 seconds. That’s an increase in trapping time of four orders of magnitude, comparable to what’s possible with good old ordinary matter.

The news is significant because it makes possible a new set of experiments that should answer some important questions.

Most important of these is whether ordinary gravity attracts or repels antimatter. In other words, does antihydrogen fall up or down?

Although there have been many attempts to do this experiment, all have been inconclusive because nobody has been able to trap a good lump of antimatter for long enough to try.

All that should soon change. The ALPHA team now plans to cool a small lump of antihydrogen and then watch it as it falls (or rises). Which means physicists should have their answer within months.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1104.4982: Confinement Of Antihydrogen For 1000 Seconds

You can now follow the Physics arXiv Blog on Twitter

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Uber Autonomous Vehicles parked in a lot
Uber Autonomous Vehicles parked in a lot

It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them.

If they ever hit our roads for real, other drivers need to know exactly what they are.

stock art of market data
stock art of market data

Maximize business value with data-driven strategies

Every organization is now collecting data, but few are truly data driven. Here are five ways data can transform your business.

Cryptocurrency fuels new business opportunities

As adoption of digital assets accelerates, companies are investing in innovative products and services.

Mifiprex pill
Mifiprex pill

Where to get abortion pills and how to use them

New US restrictions could turn abortion into do-it-yourself medicine, but there might be legal risks.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.