Fundamental Physics with Antihydrogen Atoms
The ALPHA Collaboration at CERN has combined antiprotons and positrons to create and probe antihydrogen atoms. ALPHA can now store over 1000 antihydrogen atoms at a time for thousands of seconds. We have developed techniques to conduct precision physics using minimal numbers of antiatoms. The comparison of antihydrogen and hydrogen spectra are sensitive probes of Charge-Parity-Time (CPT) Symmetry. We have conducted the first precision physics experiments on antihydrogen, measuring the 1S-2S and the hyperfine transition bandwidths to the 10kHz level. The charge of antihydrogen has been limited to less than 0.7ppb of the magnitude of the electron charge, and the Lyman-alpha transition, critical for laser cooling, has been excited. A gravity experiment designed to measure antihydrogen acceleration in the Earth’s field to 1% accuracy is being constructed. In this talk I will describe ALPHAs techniques, physics results, and our plans for the future.
Jonathan S. Wurtele graduated from UC Berkeley with undergraduate degrees in Physics and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Physics. Following a decade at MIT, he returned to UC Berkeley, where he is Professor of Physics. His research interests include plasma, beam, and antihydrogen physics. He is a member of the international ALPHA collaboration at CERN, which synthesizes, traps, and conducts precision physics measurements on, antihydrogen in order to study fundamental symmetries between matter and antimatter. Wurtele’s scientific interests extend beyond traditional physics. He participated in the Berkeley Earth temperature study and spent a sabbatical year at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress working on the science of cities. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a co-recipient of the John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research and was a foreign research Fellow at Japan’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science.