Anti-Matter Trapped For the First Time!
Zowie. Now we can start working toward warp drive! The future is coming, and it is Star Trek!
“Get ready for that warp drive spaceship, because we are now one step closer to it. After creating antihydrogen in their antiproton decelerator, scientists at CERN have been able to trap antimatter for the first time in history.
This a big step. First, it gets humanity closer to understanding one of the biggest mysteries of the Universe: What happened to all the antimatter that was created during the Big Bang? In theory, matter and antimatter were created in equal parts during the Big Bang. However, the latter disappeared shortly thereafter. Or at least, we can’t seem to find it. The spokesman for CERN’s ALPHA experiment—Jeffrey Hangst of Aarhus University, Denmark—says that trapping these atoms was a bit of an overwhelming experience:
What’s new about Alpha is that now we’ve managed to hold on to those atoms. We have a magnetic bowl, kind of a bottle, that holds the antihydrogen […] For reasons that no one yet understands, nature ruled out antimatter. It is thus very rewarding, and a bit overwhelming, to look at the ALPHA device and know that it contains stable, neutral atoms of antimatter.
CERN created the first nine atoms of antihydrogen in 1995, and then started to produce atoms in large quantities in 2002, as part of the ATHENA and ATRAP experiments. This is the first time that scientists have been able to trap antihydrogen atoms for a long enough time to study them, keeping them at 9 degrees kelvin (-443.47 degrees Fahrenheit, -264.15 degrees Celsius), suspended in a magnetic field inside this Ghostbusters-style machine.”