News of the WeekANTIMATTER

Coaxing Shy Particles Into an Atomic Jar

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Science  05 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5467, pp. 788-789
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5467.788

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Thanks to a new method a Dutch-American team has demonstrated for recombining free electrons with ions to form atoms, researcher may finally be able to create antimatter in sufficient quantities for study. In the 24 April Physical Review Letters, researchers describe how they enabled rubidium ions to trap electrons by applying a pulsed electric field in a series of steps similar to the way a child traps an insect in a jar. The team claims the technique can be used to produce atoms of antihydrogen, the simplest form of antimatter, in greater numbers than ever before.