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Measuring the magnetism of antimatter: Researchers measure antiprotons more accurately than ever before

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Posted March 25, 2013

In a breakthrough that could one day yield important clues about the nature of matter itself, a team of Harvard scientists have succeeding in measuring the magnetic charge of single particles of matter and antimatter more accurately than ever before.

As described in a March 25 paper in Physical Review Letters, the ATRAP team, led by Gerald Gabrielse, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics, and including post-doctoral fellows Stephan Ettenauer and Eric Tardiff and graduate students Jack DiSciacca, Mason Marshall, Kathryn Marable and Rita Kalra was able to capture individual protons and antiprotons in a “trap” created by electric and magnetic fields. By precisely measuring the oscillations of each particle, the team was able to measure the magnetism of a proton more than 1,000 times more accurately than an antiproton had been measured before. Similar tests with antiprotons produced a 680-fold increase in accuracy in the size of the magnet in an antiproton. “That is a spectacular jump in precision for any fundamental quality,” Gabrielse said, of the antiproton measurements. “That’s a leap that we don’t often see in physics, at least not in a single step.”

Read more at: Phys.org

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