The AEgIS collaboration at CERN (an international consortium of 25 institutions) has demonstrated a method to measure a very small deflection (smaller than the thickness of a human hair) of a beam of antiprotons, the counterpart of the proton. This is achieved by putting arrays of fine slits inside the beam (figure a), allowing only certain trajectories to pass these obstacles and to hit a detector. The arrival point of the surviving antiprotons is recorded with an emulsion detector, in principal a photographic film that takes snap-shots of the antiprotons’ annihilation – the process in which antimatter meets matter and subsequently decomposes into smaller particles. It is interesting, that this method called morié deflectometry only needs very few particles to work and is there therefore ideal for rare particles such as antimatter.
This demonstration results from the effort of an interdisciplinary and multinational group of physicists, combining techniques from different fields of physics. In future experiments, this method could be employed to measure gravity of antihydrogen, a force that is even much smaller that the electromagnetic force measured here.
The ASACUSA Collaboration at CERN with contribution of the Stefan Meyer
Institute achieved the for the first time the formation of an
Antihydrogen beam. This success, published in "Nature Communications",
is a new milestone an the road to understand the matter antimatter
asymmetry in the universe and therefore to foundations of our own