Scientists trap antimatter for a thousand seconds

Researchers in Sweden have achieved a breakthrough to contain antihydrogen atoms for a thousand seconds (16 minutes), allowing a more detailed study of the properties of the phenomenon.
The last time that antimatter had been isolated last November, had been contained just fractions of a second.

The observations allow to know if matter and antimatter obey the same laws of physics and why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe. The work was published in the journal Nature Physics.
The experiment was carried out by the so-called Alfa Group in collaboration with the particle physics laboratory CERN in Switzerland.
Antimatter is the mirror image of matter.
With normal matter, a hydrogen atom consists of an electron (negative charge) clinging to a proton (positively charged). In its opposite the electron corresponds to a positron that is clinging to an antiproton. These two particles do a antiatoms.

Instant annihilation
As the Cern laboratories can routinely create antimatter particles, but so far, found it very difficult to contain because it annihilated instantly when in contact with containers made of normal matter.

The Alpha project developed a "magnetic trap, allowing frigid empty and capture particles of antihydrogen and extend its existence antiatoms relaxing to its ground state, where the positron is in an orbit closest to the nucleus (antiproton) and has less energy.
"If they contain over 1,000 seconds, you can be pretty sure they are in the state in which we can study, and this is the first time anyone can say that," said Jeffrey HangStan, the Alpha team.
The existence of antimatter was first suggested by the theoretical physicist Paul Dirac in the 30's.
When trying to consolidate the theories of quantum mechanics with Einstein's special relativity, he realized that his equations predicted an antimatter particle for each particle of matter existing. For each electron is a positron, for each proton is an antiproton.

Where is the antimatter?

But if what surrounds us, the Earth, stars and galaxies are made almost entirely of matter, where is the corresponding antimatter?
Under the current interpretation of the laws of physics, during the so-called Big Bang (the big bang that created the universe) is created equal number of matter and antimatter.
However, one theory is that there might be a slight discrepancy in the amounts that were created. When the whole process of mutual annihilation between matter and antimatter occurred (an event that lasted less than a second), what was the matter we see around us.
What scientists want to know is if matter and antimatter obey the same laws of physics. "It's a simple yet profound question," he told the BBC the professor Jeffrey HangStan, Aarhus University, lead author of the scientific report.
"The Big Bang theory tells us that equal amounts were created in the early universe but nature somehow decided to choose the discipline and do not know why," said Professor HangStan.
With the new breakthrough, scientists have enough time to take action in the antiatoms and try to reconcile the very small discrepancies between hydrogen and antihydrogen to explain the preponderance of matter over antimatter in the universe.