CERN tests anti-gravity potential in antimatter

Craig Lloyd - Apr 30, 2013
CERN tests anti-gravity potential in antimatter

Antimatter is been one of those long mysteries that have puzzled scientists for a long time, and still we don't really know what it's all about. However, the folks at CERN in Switzerland think they have a couple of methods to test antimatter as a source of anti-gravity. After all, if matter falls down, then wouldn't antimatter fall up?

Researchers have asked themselves this question for years with no real definitive answer. However, physicists are taking a closer look at the possibility of the existence of anti-gravity, and the discoveries that were made are fairly impressive. CERN's ongoing international ALPHA experiment aims to build and trap antimatter atoms, and if gravity's interaction with anti-atoms is strong, then the oddity would be noticed in ALPHA's data on anti-atoms.

The ALPHA experiment creates antihydrogen atoms by putting together single antiprotons with single positrons and holding them together with a magnet. When the magnets are deactivated, the anti-atoms touch the matter of the magnetic walls and are eventually annihilated (a process in which matter and antimatter collide).

However, this specifically doesn't answer any of the burning questions researchers have about antimatter and anti-gravity, but it does show that measuring antimatter gravity is actually possible. This could lead to another experimental method in the future that would result in much more precise measurements and would settle the long mystery of antimatter and anti-gravity.

[via BBC News]

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