Confinement of antihydrogen for 1,000 seconds

G. B. Andresen, M. D. Ashkezari, M. Baquero-Ruiz, W. Bertsche, P. D. Bowe, E. Butler, C. L. Cesar, M. Charlton, A. Deller, S. Eriksson, J. Fajans, T. Friesen, M. C. Fujiwara, D. R. Gill, A. Gutierrez, J. S. Hangst, W. N. Hardy, R. S. Hayano, M. E. Hayden, A. J. HumphriesR. Hydomako, S. Jonsell, S. L. Kemp, L. Kurchaninov, N. Madsen, S. Menary, P. Nolan, K. Olchanski, A. Olin, P. Pusa, C. O. Rasmussen, F. Robicheaux, E. Sarid, D. M. Silveira, C. So, J. W. Storey, R. I. Thompson, D. P. Van Der Werf, J. S. Wurtele, Y. Yamazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations

Abstract

Atoms made of a particle and an antiparticle are unstable, usually surviving less than a microsecond. Antihydrogen, made entirely of antiparticles, is believed to be stable, and it is this longevity that holds the promise of precision studies of matter-antimatter symmetry. We have recently demonstrated trapping of antihydrogen atoms by releasing them after a confinement time of 172 ms. A critical question for future studies is: how long can anti-atoms be trapped? Here, we report the observation of anti-atom confinement for 1,000 s, extending our earlier results by nearly four orders of magnitude. Our calculations indicate that most of the trapped anti-atoms reach the ground state. Further, we report the first measurement of the energy distribution of trapped antihydrogen, which, coupled with detailed comparisons with simulations, provides a key tool for the systematic investigation of trapping dynamics. These advances open up a range of experimental possibilities, including precision studies of charge-parity-time reversal symmetry and cooling to temperatures where gravitational effects could become apparent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-564
Number of pages7
JournalNature Physics
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy

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