Department of Physics

SFU Physicists participate in antimatter breakthrough

June 06, 2011

SFU physics PhD student Mohammad Dehghani Ashkezari (front right) and his supervisor professor Mike Hayden (back right) are part of an international team of scientists that has managed to capture and hold onto some atomic antimatter for over 16 minutes.

Their results were published in Nature Physics today: “Confinement of antihydrogen for 1,000 seconds“.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

The team created a cylindrical container or “magnetic bottle” that is about five by 25 centimetres. It uses magnets to keep the anti-hydrogen atoms from touching its walls, suspending the antimatter atoms away from any matter that would cause their destruction.

Now that they’ve sustained their anti-hydrogen atoms for 1,000 seconds, scientists can began to examine them and see how they compare to ordinary hydrogen atoms.

The SFU scientists are part of an international ALPHA Collaboration based at CERN, in Switzerland.

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