• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

Brookhaven | Long Island, NY | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Trapping Antimatter with Magnets

Researchers at the ALPHA experiment at CERN made major news today with the announcement that they’ve trapped antimatter atoms for 1,000 seconds. That’s more than 16 minutes and 5,000 times longer than their last published record of two tenths of a second.

The ALPHA magnet being wound at Brookhaven

The new feat will allow scientists to study the properties of antimatter in detail, which could help them understand why the universe is made only of matter even though the Big Bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter.

These studies have been made possible, in part, by a bottle-like, anti matter-catching device called a minimum magnetic field trap. At the heart of the trap is an octupole (eight-magnetic-pole) magnet that was fabricated at Brookhaven Lab in 2006.

Several special features of the coil design and a unique machine used to wind it contributed to the suc­cess of this magnet. For exam­ple, the magnet generates a very pure octupole field, which keeps the antimatter away from the walls of the trap, preventing them from annihilating.

Antiprotons and positrons are brought into the ALPHA trap from opposite ends and held there by electric and magnetic fields. Brought together, they form antiatoms neutral in charge but with a magnetic moment. If their energy is low enough they can be held by the octupole and mirror fields of the Minimum Magnetic Field Trap.

To figure out how many antiprotons were in the trap, the scientists “quench,”  or abruptly switch off the superconducting magnet, releasing the antimatter. The anti-atom’s subsequent annihilation into particles called pions is recorded by a three-layer silicon vertex detector similar to those used in high-energy experiments like Fermilab’s Tevatron and the Large Hadron Collider.

But the pions must travel through the magnets of the trap before reaching the silicon. To prevent the particles from scattering multiple times during their journey to the detector, Brookhaven physicists and engineers had to figure out how limit the amount of material used in the magnet. A specially developed 3D winding machine allowed the researchers to build the magnet directly onto the outside of the ALPHA vacuum chamber. The result is a magnet that looks far different from the bulky, steel-surrounded instrumentation in most particle colliders. In fact, only the superconducting cables are metal.

–Kendra Snyder, BNL Media & Communications

Share

Tags: , , , , ,

  • I have made an discovery in lightning and the atmospheric sciences. FERMI satellite confirmed antimatter from my discovery. The best explanation for it is a…. self contained antimatter explosion contained in Liquid Oxygen and does not annihilate as suspected but travels in and out of dimensions. This wonderful creation by lightning will show us how dimensions are built and how antimatter works in our world. This 12 ft. sphere of wonder is the answer to Space travel as force fields are created and can be used to join the spheres together into one surrounding field as it did the earths surrounding ionosphere and atmosphere. Antimatter makes things float. One sphere named Mantle can carry about 600 lbs. of LOx while dancing around like a helium balloon at a fair ground. The possibilities are endless with this power house. I could not find a name for them so they received my initials as RPM for Relativistic Perturbation Mantle.

  • Natashia Kincaide

    Performances may be similar, but MWR is a team on the rise while DEI appears to be going in the other direction. Look at the numbers from last year, or the year before, or the year before. You’ll see that every year MWR has gotten better while DEI has not.