Regardless of which experiments the researchers come up with, antimatter is behaving pretty much like regular matter. In a new study, the scientists studied antihydrogen atoms to learn more about the differences between matter and antimatter. Now, they plan to release the antimatter antihydrogen atoms to observe their interaction with gravity.
Antimatter is not so different than matter
Antimatter has been puzzling physicists for a long time now, as the scientists still have no clue why matter is present in more significant amounts in the Universe in comparison to antimatter and why antimatter behaves similarly to ordinary matter, despite the differences between them. In short, antimatter is regular matter but with the opposite charge.
Physicists, during their new research, studied antihydrogen atoms, the antimatter particles of hydrogen, to learn more about the differences between antimatter and matter. Unfortunately for them, the scientists haven’t found the contrasts they were seeking.
“The antimatter physics community is trying to find the matter-antimatter difference at different frontiers. Every step made is getting us closer to answer one question: ‘Why is antimatter so much less common than regular matter?'” asserted Gunn Khatri, a physicist at CERN.
The new laser-cooling method proven during the experiment
Using Antiproton Decelerator at CERN’s ALPHA (the Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus) instrument, the scientists shot 500 antihydrogen atoms with laser pulses. The atom’s electrons got highly-charged, and once they dropped back, the antihydrogen atoms released photons with a specific wavelength.
However, the scientists haven’t managed to find the differences they were seeking for between hydrogen and antihydrogen. But, they have proven the new laser-cooling method to trap and cool atoms down to temperatures close to Absolute Zero.
Antihydrogen atoms to be released to observe their interaction with gravity
Soon, the CERN’s ALPHA instrument will get updated with a new tool that would permit physicist to drop antihydrogen atoms to find how they interact with gravity and, primarily, if whether they interact similarly to regular hydrogen atoms or not.
If the scientists find any differences between antimatter and matter, they will help the scientific community better understand the antimatter-matter interactions in the early Universe and why there is more matter than antimatter.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.