物理学 光学 文章翻译
2021-04-01 19:43:02

Researchers achieve world's first manipulation of antimatter by laser




An artistic illustration of the movement of an antihydrogen atom in the ALPHA magnetic trap, before (grey) and after (blue) laser cooling. The images show various lengths of the antihydrogen's track. Credit: Chukman So/TRIUMF

一个反氢原子在阿尔法磁阱中运动的艺术插图,在激光冷却之前(灰色)和之后(蓝色)。图像显示了反氢轨道的不同长度。信贷:Chukman So/TRIUMF

Researchers with the CERN-based ALPHA collaboration have announced the world's first laser-based manipulation of antimatter, leveraging a made-in-Canada laser system to cool a sample of antimatter down to near absolute zero. The achievement, detailed in an article published today and featured on the cover of the journal Nature, will significantly alter the landscape of antimatter research and advance the next generation of experiments.


Antimatter is the otherworldly counterpart to matter; it exhibits near-identical characteristics and behaviors but has opposite charge. Because they annihilate upon contact with matter, antimatter atoms are exceptionally difficult to create and control in our world and had never before been manipulated with a laser.


"Today's results are the culmination of a years-long program of research and engineering, conducted at UBC but supported by partners from across the country," said Takamasa Momose, the University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher with ALPHA's Canadian team (ALPHA-Canada) who led the development of the laser. "With this technique, we can address long-standing mysteries like: 'How does antimatter respond to gravity? Can antimatter help us understand symmetries in physics?'. These answers may fundamentally alter our understanding of our Universe."

今天的研究成果是一个长达数年的研究和工程项目的成果,该项目在UBC进行,但得到了来自全国各地的合作伙伴的支持,领导激光研发的ALPHA加拿大团队(ALPHA Canada)的不列颠哥伦比亚大学(UBC)研究员Takamasa Momose说通过这项技术,我们可以解决长期存在的谜团,比如:反物质如何对引力作出反应??反物质能帮助我们理解物理学中的对称性吗。这些答案可能会从根本上改变我们对宇宙的理解。

Since its introduction 40 years ago, laser manipulation and cooling of ordinary atoms have revolutionized modern atomic physics and enabled several Nobel-winning experiments. The results in Nature mark the first instance of scientists applying these techniques to antimatter.

自介绍40年前以来,激光操纵和普通原子的冷却已彻底改变了现代原子物理,并启用了几个诺贝尔获胜的实验。 Nature的结果标志着将这些技术应用于反物质的科学家的第一例。

By cooling antimatter, researchers will be able to perform a variety of precision tests to further investigate the characteristics of antimatter, including experiments that may shine a light on the fundamental symmetries of our Universe. These tests could offer clues as to why the Universe is made primarily of matter and not equal parts matter/antimatter as predicted by Big Bang models.


"It was a bit of crazy dream to manipulate antimatter with laser," said Makoto Fujiwara, ALPHA-Canada spokesperson, TRIUMF scientist, and the original proponent of the laser cooling idea. "I am thrilled that our dream has finally come true as a result of tremendous teamwork of both Canadian and international scientists."

用激光操纵反物质有点疯狂的梦想,加拿大阿尔法协会发言人、TRIUMF科学家、激光冷却想法的最初支持者Makoto Fujiwara说我很高兴,由于加拿大和国际科学家的巨大合作,我们的梦想终于实现了。

The laser manipulation of antimatter also opens the door to a variety of leading-edge physics innovations.


Momose and Fujiwara are now leading a new Canadian project, dubbed HAICU, to develop new quantum techniques for antimatter studies. "My next dream is to make a "fountain" of anti-atoms by tossing the laser- cooled antimatter into free space. If realized, it would enable an entirely new class of quantum measurements that were previously unthinkable," said Fujiwara. "Furthermore, we are one step closer to being able to manufacture the world's first antimatter molecules by joining anti-atoms together using our laser manipulation technology," said Momose.

MomoseFujiwara现在推进了一个新的加拿大项目,被称为Haicu,为反物质研究开发新的量子技术。 我的下一个梦想是通过将激光冷却的反物质扔进自由空间来制作抗原子的喷泉。如果实现,它将使其能够实现先前不可想象的全新的量子测量,”Fujiwara说。 此外,我们是能够通过使用我们的激光操作技术加入抗原子来制造世界第一反物质分子的一步,”Momose说。

The results mark a watershed moment for ALPHA's decades-long program of antimatter research, which began with the creation and trapping of antihydrogen for a world-record one thousand seconds in 2011. The collaboration also provided a first glimpse of the antihydrogen spectrum in 2012, set guardrails confining the effect of gravity on antimatter in 2013, and showcased an antimatter counterpart to a key spectroscopic phenomenon in 2020.








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