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A custom-built laser has cooled antimatter to near absolute zero. The work, carried out by researchers with the CERN-based ALPHA collaboration, holds significant implications for the study of antimatter and its properties, and of foundational theories of the universe.
Antimatter is nearly identical to matter in terms of its behavior and characteristics, but it possesses the opposite charge. When matter and antimatter come into contact, they annihilate one another. Experimentation remains difficult for this reason.
The movement of an antihydrogen atom in the ALPHA magnetic trap, before (gray) and after (blue) laser cooling. Courtesy of Chukman So, TRIUMF.
“The antimatter atoms must be held in an extremely high vacuum in…