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If we really wish to fathom the mysteries of antimatter, we must first get to grips with the stuff itself. Easier said than done. How on earth do you pin down a substance that vanishes the moment it touches anything? Two CERN experiments, ATRAP and ALPHA, are grappling with that question. Their aim is to make antihydrogen - the simplest anti-atom possible, just an antiproton and a positron bound together - in sufficient quantity and for long enough to compare the spectrum of light it emits with that of regular hydrogen. Even the slightest difference between the two would shake up the standard model. The experiments require a near-perfect vacuum, as encountering a mere atom of air would spell the end for any antiparticle, and there must be some way of trapping the antiparticles:

2 of 5 in ANTI-MATTER : MYSTERIES...

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13. Apr 2010 15:36:18 EDT
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