Skip to content

Anti-atom beam

It may sound like a line from Star Trek, but I can assure you that the creation of a beam made out of anti-hydrogen atoms is a real achievement carried out by scientists at CERN.

The work was reported in Nature Communications, and it could hopefully help answering the question about the patent lack of anti-matter we see on everyday life. In order to study anti-matter we would need a source of them, plus the anti-particles should live long enough to make useful measurements. 

It is not that anti-matter is not currently used, PET scans routinely employ positrons to take snapshots of patients bodies. But the prospect of having proper anti-matter atoms became a reality only about three years ago.  The recent announcement from the ASACUSA collaboration at CERN  Now scientists from a different collaboration at CERN, report the creation of a beam of anti-hydrogen atoms that can be measured more precisely outside the magnetic trap where they were created. At least 80 of the anti-atoms were detected, 2.7 meters (9 feet) downstream of the production region.