2-7 June 2019
Simon Fraser University
America/Vancouver timezone
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Tests of fundamental physics with trapped antihydrogen

3 Jun 2019, 11:15
BLU 10011 (Simon Fraser University)

BLU 10011

Simon Fraser University

Invited Speaker / Conférencier(ère) invité(e) Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Canada / Division de la physique atomique, moléculaire et photonique, Canada (DAMOPC-DPAMPC) M1-1 Test of Fundamental Physics with Atoms (DAMOPC) | Tests de physique fondamentale avec des atomes (DPAMPC)


Dr Tim Tim Friesen (University of Calgary)


Antihydrogen, as the simplest purely antimatter atomic system, is a natural candidate for testing fundamental symmetries between matter and antimatter. For example, CPT symmetry predicts that the spectra of hydrogen and antihydrogen should be identical. By making precise measurements of antihydrogen’s transition frequencies, and making comparisons to high precision measurements in hydrogen, we have an excellent test of CPT symmetry in the atomic sector. The primary transitions of interest are the 1S – 2S and ground-state hyperfine transitions, which are known to 4.2 parts in $10^{15}$ and 7 parts in $10^{13}$ in hydrogen, respectively. In addition, the fact that antihydrogen is electrically neutral means it can be used as a probe of the gravitational interaction between matter and antimatter. If the weak equivalence principle holds then the gravitational mass of antimatter should be identical to that of matter but so far there have been no direct free-fall style experiments to test this.

The ALPHA collaboration at CERN aims to test these principles using antihydrogen atoms confined in a magnetic trap. The ALPHA experiment has developed antihydrogen trapping techniques that allow the simultaneous confinement of more than 1000 antihydrogen atoms. This has led to detailed measurements of antihydrogen’s 1S – 2S, 1S – 2P, and ground-state hyperfine transitions. In addition, ALPHA has recently built a new vertical antihydrogen trapping apparatus for a direct measurement of the gravitational free-fall of antihydrogen.

In this talk, I will present a general overview of ALPHA’s apparatus, techniques, and results. Particular focus will be placed on ground-state hyperfine spectroscopy and magnetometry for precision spectroscopy and gravity measurements on trapped antihydrogen.

Primary author

Dr Tim Tim Friesen (University of Calgary)


The ALPHA collaboration

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