Antiprotons show no hint of unexpected matter-antimatter differences

It’s confirmed: Protons and antiprotons are well-matched. The two sorts of subatomic particles mirror one another within the ratios of their electrical cost to mass, a brand new extraordinarily exact experiment verifies.

Top Image: The BASE experiment at the European particle physics laboratory CERN uses an electromagnetic device (shown) to trap antiprotons and electrically charged hydrogen atoms.

Antiprotons are the antimatter counterpart of protons. Every sort of matter particle has such an alter ego, with related properties however reverse electrical cost. But antimatter is an enigma: Scientists nonetheless don’t perceive why matter is widespread within the universe whereas antimatter is uncommon (SN: 11/25/19). To examine the origins of this asymmetry, scientists hold checking, to ever higher precision, for differences between matter and antimatter particles, which might hint at how matter got here to dominate the cosmos.

The Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment, or BASE, on the European particle physics laboratory CERN, close to Geneva, measures the oscillations of a single antiproton confined inside an electromagnetic entice. These oscillations, which reveal the charge-to-mass ratio of the antiproton, are in contrast with these of a trapped hydrogen ion, comprising a proton and two electrons, which give the proton charge-to-mass ratio.

After greater than 24,000 of these oscillation comparisons, BASE researchers discovered that the 2 charge-to-mass ratios mirror one another with a precision of 1.6 billionths of a %, the group studies January 5 in Nature. That’s greater than 4 occasions as exact because the earlier measurement (SN: 8/12/15). 

The consequence additionally assessments physicists’ understanding of gravity’s impact on antimatter, says Stefan Ulmer, a spokesperson of BASE and physicist at RIKEN in Wako, Japan. The Earth’s gravitational surroundings adjusts because the planet orbits the sun, so if gravity affected protons and antiprotons in a different way, that impact would have surfaced through the year and a half over which the information have been taken. “We have shown that antimatter and matter interact with gravity … in an exactly identical way,” to inside an uncertainty of 3 %, Ulmer says.

Reference: ScienceNews

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