Thursday, March 8, 2012

Antimatter ‘measured’ for the first time, could reveal building blocks of the universe - Joseph Brean - National Post

Thanks to rod-the-farmer for the link.

Scientists related to Canadian institutions involved with the ALPHA antimater project are gathered by a superconducting magnet. The more obvious vertical cylinder to on the right is a container for liquid helium (a 'dewar').

Canadian-led team at the European nuclear research agency has succeeded in trapping particles of anti-matter long enough to measure how they react to increasing energy, in a groundbreaking experiment that heralds a new age of empirical research on the most bizarre stuff in existence.

“We’re going down a path of trying to study a fiendishly difficult atom, to begin with, and we’ve got to be able to convince the world that we’re really able to manipulate them and to do something that’s going to turn into a precision experiment,” said Mike Hayden, a Simon Fraser University physicist, and a senior author on the paper, out Wednesday in the British science journal Nature. Other Canadian authors are from the universities of Calgary, British Columbia and Victoria, York University, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and TRIUMF, Canada’s national particle physics lab in Vancouver.

“This paper marks the transition; we’re saying we’ve done this, we’re ready to go to this next stage.”
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