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Antihydrogen: CERN researchers capture antimatter atoms

Scientists at CERN, the Geneva, Switzerland-based particle physics lab, created 38 atoms of antihydrogen and held onto them in a magnetic trap for about one-tenth of a second, which is long enough to study them. Professor Jeffrey Hangst said that the researchers could have held them for much longer.

Results of the experiments were published in the journal Nature. To capture the 38 atoms, the experiment had to be run 335 times. Although antihydrogen atoms had been produced in large quantities before, the atoms reacted with the walls of the container and annihilated each other, in the earlier experiments. The latest experiments, in which antihydrogen atoms were trapped were ten thousand times more difficult to run, according to Hangst.

Malcolm Longair, professor of natural philosophy at Cambridge University is quoted by CNN:

“At the Big Bang we believe the temperatures were very very high and we understand in theory why antimatter disappeared but there is no physical theory to back it up.”

Antimatter was predicted in 1931 by Paul Dirac, a British physicist.

-Bill at

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