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Description and first application of a new technique to measure the gravitational mass of antihydrogen
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
Number of Authors: 38
2013 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 4, 1785Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Physicists have long wondered whether the gravitational interactions between matter and antimatter might be different from those between matter and itself. Although there are many indirect indications that no such differences exist and that the weak equivalence principle holds, there have been no direct, free-fall style, experimental tests of gravity on antimatter. Here we describe a novel direct test methodology; we search for a propensity for anti-hydrogen atoms to fall downward when released from the ALPHA antihydrogen trap. In the absence of systematic errors, we can reject ratios of the gravitational to inertial mass of antihydrogen 475 at a statistical significance level of 5%; worst-case systematic errors increase the minimum rejection ratio to 110. A similar search places somewhat tighter bounds on a negative gravitational mass, that is, on antigravity. This methodology, coupled with ongoing experimental improvements, should allow us to bound the ratio within the more interesting near equivalence regime.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 4, 1785
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91539DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2787ISI: 000318872100142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-91539DiVA: diva2:634487
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2013-07-01 Created: 2013-06-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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