From CERN: ” LIVE- Inside CERN’s antimatter factory”

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26 Apr 2018
Harriet Kim Jarlett

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This is the antimatter trap at AEgIS, one of the experiments studying antimatter using CERN’s Antiproton Decelerator (Image: Maximilien Brice and Julien Ordan/CERN)

For the first time, join us on Facebook for a live behind-the-scenes insight into CERN’s Antiproton Decelerator.

CERN Antiproton Decelerator

The Antiproton Decelerator (AD) is a unique machine that produces low-energy antiprotons for studies of antimatter, and “creates” antiatoms. The Decelerator produces antiproton beams and sends them to the different experiments.

A proton beam that comes from the PS (Proton Synchrotron) is fired into a block of metal. These collisions create a multitude of secondary particles, including lots of antiprotons. These antiprotons have too much energy to be useful for making antiatoms. They also have different energies and move randomly in all directions. The job of the AD is to tame these unruly particles and turn them into a useful, low-energy beam that can be used to produce antimatter.

Unlike the rest of CERN’s accelerator complex, which speed up particles to study them at high energies, this unique machine slows particles down. The decelerator tames these unruly particles and directs them to six different experiments, ALPHA, ASACUSA, ATRAP, BASE, AEGIS and GBAR. to study antimatter and ‘create’ antiatoms.

The Big Bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the early universe. But today, everything we see from the smallest life forms on Earth to the largest stellar objects is made almost entirely of matter. Comparatively, there is not much antimatter to be found. Something must have happened to tip the balance. One of the greatest challenges in physics is to figure out what happened to the antimatter, or why we see an asymmetry between matter and antimatter.

We’ll find out why CERN is now the only lab in the world producing antimatter, how we create these antimatter particles and what these experiments will teach us about our Universe.

Watch the live on Facebook:

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