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Exploring the secrets of antimatter at CERN

3 August 2017

Alpha Experiment

Alpha Experiment in 2016
(Credit: CERN)

New research published today by researchers from CERN has brought us another step closer to understanding where all the antimatter has gone.

The ALPHA experiment at CERN’s Antiproton Decelerator has reported the first observation of the hyperfine structure of antihydrogen, the antimatter counterpart of hydrogen. These findings point the way to ever more detailed analyses of the structure of antihydrogen and could help understand any differences between matter and antimatter.

This matter-antimatter asymmetry is one of the greatest challenges in physics and at this moment in time the universe seems to be composed entirely of matter – the only antimatter around is created at places like CERN. Yet our theories predict that exactly equal amounts of matter and antimatter would have been created in the Big Bang. So where did all the antimatter go?

The full research is published in Nature.

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