Monday, December 19, 2016

Antihydrogen Looks Just Like Hydrogen

The ALPHA collaboration at CERN has measured the first ever 2s-1s transition in antihydrogen atoms, and it looks like the Standard Model and CPT symmetry are still correct!

Carrying out the whole procedure 11 times, the group found that on average just under 60% of antiatoms left the trap with the laser tuned to the 1s-2s transition, while no antiatoms (within the bounds of statistical error) dropped out when the laser was tuned to a different frequency or when it was switched off. The researchers say that the antiatoms underwent the transition at the expected frequency and therefore behaved no differently from normal hydrogen.

I'm sure there will be many more to come. The ability to store antihydrogen long enough to study it is a major accomplishment in itself.


1 comment:

Douglas Natelson said...

Seems like there should be some wild AMO physics ways to do really precision spectroscopy of anti-H by, e.g., trying to look for frequency differences between anti-H emission and H emission, and looking at things like hyperfine structure.