Spectroscopy of Trapped Antihydrogen
Start date: May 1, 2013,
End date: Apr 30, 2018
Antihydrogen is the only stable, neutral antimatter system available for laboratory study. Recently, the ALPHA Collaboration at CERN has succeeded in synthesizing and trapping antihydrogen atoms, storing them for up to 1000 s, and performing the first resonant spectroscopy, using microwaves, on trapped antihydrogen. This last, historic result paves the way for precision microwave and laser spectroscopic measurements using small numbers of trapped antihydrogen atoms. Because of the breakthroughs made in our collaboration, it is now possible, for the first time, to design antimatter spectroscopic experiments that have achievable milestones of precision. These measurements require a next-generation apparatus, known as ALPHA-2, which is the subject of this proposal. The items sought are hardware components and radiation sources to help us to test CPT (charge conjugation, parity, time reversal) symmetry invariance by comparing the spectrum of antihydrogen to that of hydrogen. More generally, we will address the very fundamental question: do matter and antimatter obey the same laws of physics? The Standard Model says that they must, but mystery continues to cloud our understanding of antimatter - as evidenced by the unexplained baryon asymmetry in the universe. ALPHA's experiments offer a unique, high precision, model-independent view into the internal workings of antimatter.
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