Science and Technology Facilities Council
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Elusive anti-matter trapped for 1000 seconds at CERN

The ALPHA experiment at CERN has succeeded in trapping antimatter atoms for over 16 minutes: long enough to begin to study their properties in detail. ALPHA is part of a broad programme at CERN's antiproton decelerator investigating the mysteries of one of nature's most elusive substances.

STFC's Professor John Womersley commented, "In the Big Bang, matter and antimatter would have been created in equal amounts, but now our Universe seems to be made entirely of matter. This exciting achievement by colleagues at CERN may help us understand why nature seems to prefer matter to antimatter."

The results were published online by the journal Nature Physics on 6 June 2011.

You can read more on the CERN website (link opens in a new window).

STFC is the UK sponsor of particle physics and manages the UK subscription to CERN. This work was funded by EPSRC.

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