Fundamental tests of antimatter gravitation with antihydrogen

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


One of the outstanding grand challenges in physics is to understand the fundamental differences between matter and antimatter that have left us with a universe that is largely composed of matter. The ALPHA experiment at CERN seeks to address this question by performing precise atomic physics measurements on trapped antihydrogen atoms in order to seek minute differences with equivalent measurements in hydrogen. The collaboration is building ALPHA-g, the next generation of antihydrogen traps intended to measure antimatter gravitation.
This project is to design and perform gravitational free-fall measurements on antihydrogen atoms in order to directly measure antimatter gravitational acceleration as a test of the weak equivalence principle. The student will design and analyse experimental protocol and diagnostic technique for use in ALPHA-g intended to measure the gravitational acceleration g of antimatter on Earth. The student will also be expected to participate in ALPHA's general experimental programme with trapped antihydrogen atoms. This includes commissioning and characterization of the magnetic antimatter trap as connected with measuring gravitation, developing particle simulations to aid in designing experimental protocols as well as interpret experimental data, and ultimately to perform gravitational measurements on trapped atoms in ALPHA-g.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509565/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2061086 Studentship EP/N509565/1 12/06/2018 31/12/2021 Danielle Hodgkinson