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Jeffrey Hangst, CERN – On the spectrum of antihydrogen

Jeffrey Hangst, CERN – On the spectrum of antihydrogen


The big news today is that we’ve made
our best measurement ever on an atom of antimatter, the anti hydrogen, that we
make in store and trap and study here in the ad, so, what we’ve done is measure the
spectral line, kind of a color of the anti hydrogen atom with a precision of a
few parts per trillion, that’s a factor of a hundred better than we did in the
first measurements a year ago. This is the best thing we’ve ever been able to
do with a direct measurement on antimatter, it’s most precise and the
most accurate measurements that we’ve had to date. So, what we’re looking for is
if hydrogen in matter and anti hydrogen in antimatter behave in the same way, so
now this is our most precise test to date of that question, and so far they
look the same, not just where the light comes out,
but also kind of the shape of the line, the characteristic, the detailed
characteristic of this spectral line agrees very well with hydrogen to the
current level of precision. So, compared to what we did last year, that
measurement just identified that there was a transition, there was some light
that could be absorbed and re-emitted by anti hydrogen. Now, what we’ve
done is really characterize how much light gets absorbed at different
frequencies, so actually measure the shape of the transition in anti hydrogen,
and that allows us to make a much more precise comparison with the matter
transition which has been studied for many many years.

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