Scientists have been trying to find an efficient way to produce antimatter, speculating that it may just be the energy source for the future. The future has just come closer as researchers have just successfully cooled down a sample of antimatter to almost absolute zero, using lasers. But aren’t lasers supposed to be hot and stuff?
Antimatter is hard to create or control as both matter and antimatter destroy themselves when they come in contact. This may be the first time such a strange thing has been manipulated and by a laser no less. Takamusa Momose of the University of British Columbia (UBC) said that “Today’s results are the culmination of a years-long program of research and engineering, conducted at UBC but supported by partners from across the country”.
“With this technique, we can address long-standing mysteries like: ‘How does antimatter respond to gravity? Can antimatter help us understand symmetries in physics?’ These answers may fundamentally alter our understanding of our Universe.” Though these questions seem far away right now, we may just take one step in the right direction. This process of cooling will allow researchers to investigate the characteristics of antimatter, and glimpse the fundamental symmetries of the universe.
Momose with his other colleague, Makoto Fujiwara, a TRIUMF scientist is already moving to a new project called HAICU (haiku?) that aims to develop cutting quantum techniques with antimatter applications. Fujiwara said that “My next dream is to make a ‘fountain’ of anti-atoms by tossing the laser-cooled antimatter into free space. If realized, it would enable an entirely new class of quantum measurements that were previously unthinkable.”
Momose was hopeful saying that that they were closer to making the world’s first antimatter molecules by join anti-atoms together. This research might just answer the old predictions of the big bang models that the universe should be composed of equal parts of matter and antimatter.
The you can read the full research study here.