Scientists use laser to unlock antimatter secrets

Scientists use laser to unlock antimatter secrets

Marking a technological breakthrough, an international team of scientists claimed to have developed a new way to explore antimatter -- using a laser.

A team of researchers led by Alan Kostelecky, a theoretical physicist at Indiana University, successfully zapped antimatter atoms with a laser, and then precisely measured the light emitted by these bizarre anti-atoms.

Scientists believe that the Big Bang produced matter and antimatter in equal amounts. But, today’s universe is overwhelmingly consisted of matter, leaving scientists to brood over why antimatter lost out to matter. By comparing the light emitted from anti-atoms with the light emitted from regular atoms, the researchers hope to solve that mystery.

Prof Jeffrey Hangst, a spokesman for Alpha, said they wanted to determine if matter and antimatter obey physics’ same laws

Speaking on the topic, Prof Hangst added, “Because we have this mystery about the disappearance of antimatter from the creation of the Universe, we always try to look at antimatter very carefully. We’ve tried to shine the same “colour” of light, if you will, on an antihydrogen atom that we would use for hydrogen, to see if it responds in the same way.”

The researchers found no differences in how atoms of antihydrogen behaved as compared with atoms of ordinary hydrogen. The result was perfectly in line with the Standard Model – the theory is used to describe the basic building blocks of the universe.

The researchers reported their findings in the most recent edition of the journal Nature.