Research News

Antimatter: Physicists Produce First Anti-Atom

Science  12 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5246, pp. 147
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5246.147


Researchers at CERN, the European center for particle physics in Geneva, have unveiled a piece of a looking-glass world by creating the first atoms of antimatter. Last fall they painstakingly combined positrons—antimatter counterparts of electrons—with antiprotons to make 11 short-lived atoms of antihydrogen. Antihydrogen should have exactly the same mass and optical properties as ordinary hydrogen, but researchers will be studying it to make sure; any deviations from this symmetry would shake the foundations of physics.