Scientists get closer to antimatter

Antihydrogen atoms trapped for a record 16 minutes

Scientists have managed to trap and store antihydrogen atoms for a record 16 minutes, a huge advance in the quest to understand antimatter, the AFP reports. When the big bang occurred 14 billion years ago, matter and antimatter are believed to have existed in equal quantities, but if things had stayed like that, the observable Universe we live in never would have been created. For reasons that aren’t exactly understood, matter won out and antimatter is now rare, although the reasons why remain one of the biggest riddles in particle physics. In a new study published in Nature Physics, researchers report that they trapped 300 antiatoms, using a laser and microwave spectroscopy to compare immobilized particles to hydrogen counterparts. A longer storage time makes it possible to carry out more advanced experiments.

Vancouver Sun

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