Sympathetic cooling of positrons to cryogenic temperatures for antihydrogen production

C. J. Baker, W. Bertsche, A. Capra, C. L. Cesar, M. Charlton, A. Cridland Mathad, S. Eriksson, A. Evans, N. Evetts, S. Fabbri, J. Fajans, T. Friesen, M. C. Fujiwara, P. Grandemange, P. Granum, J. S. Hangst, M. E. Hayden, D. Hodgkinson, C. A. Isaac, M. A. JohnsonJ. M. Jones, S. A. Jones, S. Jonsell, L. Kurchaninov, N. Madsen, D. Maxwell, J. T.K. McKenna, S. Menary, T. Momose, P. Mullan, K. Olchanski, A. Olin, J. Peszka, A. Powell, P. Pusa, C. Rasmussen, F. Robicheaux, R. L. Sacramento, M. Sameed, E. Sarid, D. M. Silveira, G. Stutter, C. So, T. D. Tharp, R. I. Thompson, D. P. van der Werf, J. S. Wurtele

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20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The positron, the antiparticle of the electron, predicted by Dirac in 1931 and discovered by Anderson in 1933, plays a key role in many scientific and everyday endeavours. Notably, the positron is a constituent of antihydrogen, the only long-lived neutral antimatter bound state that can currently be synthesized at low energy, presenting a prominent system for testing fundamental symmetries with high precision. Here, we report on the use of laser cooled Be+ ions to sympathetically cool a large and dense plasma of positrons to directly measured temperatures below 7 K in a Penning trap for antihydrogen synthesis. This will likely herald a significant increase in the amount of antihydrogen available for experimentation, thus facilitating further improvements in studies of fundamental symmetries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6139
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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