EPJD Highlight - Antimatter study to benefit from recipe for ten-fold spatial compression of plasma

Example of raw images from the detector for identical particle operations with antiproton detection (left) and electron detection (right)

Improving the spatial compression of a mixed matter-antimatter trapped plasma brings us one step closer to grasping the acceleration of antimatter due to Earth’s gravity

An international team of physicists studying antimatter have now derived an improved way of spatially compressing a state of matter called non-neutral plasma, which is made up of a type of antimatter particles, called antiprotons, trapped together with matter particles, like electrons. The new compression solution, which is based on rotating the plasma in a trapped cavity using centrifugal forces like a salad spinner, is more effective than all previous approaches. In this study published in EPJ D, the team shows that, under specific conditions, a ten-fold compression of the size of the antiproton cloud, down to a radius of only 0.17 millimetres, is possible. These findings can be applied in the field of low-energy antimatter research, charged particle traps and plasma physics. Further, this work is part of a larger research project, called AEgIS, which is intended to achieve the first direct measurement of the gravitational effect on an antimatter system. The ultimate goal of the project, which is being pursued at CERN, the Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, is to measure the acceleration of antimatter—namely antihydrogen—due to Earth’s gravity with a precision of 1%.

In this study, the authors use a plasma manipulation method called the rotating wall, which they have optimised. They employ specially tailored electrical fields, changing in time and space inside the trap volume, to induce modification of the rotation frequency. Due to the resultant centrifugal force, the plasma rotates faster and is compressed.

Specifically, the proportion of trapped antiprotons under compression is initially less than 0.1% of the electrons. During the procedure the number of electrons is reduced so as to maximise compression. To do so, antiprotons and electrons trapped in the same volume rotate around the trap axis. Interestingly, for a given number of particles, the faster the rotation, the higher their spatial density becomes as the plasma radius continues to shrink.

This was our first experience of publishing with EPJ Web of Conferences. We contacted the publisher in the middle of September, just one month prior to the Conference, but everything went through smoothly. We have had published MNPS Proceedings with different publishers in the past, and would like to tell that the EPJ Web of Conferences team was probably the best, very quick, helpful and interactive. Typically, we were getting responses from EPJ Web of Conferences team within less than an hour and have had help at every production stage.
We are very thankful to Solange Guenot, Web of Conferences Publishing Editor, and Isabelle Houlbert, Web of Conferences Production Editor, for their support. These ladies are top-level professionals, who made a great contribution to the success of this issue. We are fully satisfied with the publication of the Conference Proceedings and are looking forward to further cooperation. The publication was very fast, easy and of high quality. My colleagues and I strongly recommend EPJ Web of Conferences to anyone, who is interested in quick high-quality publication of conference proceedings.

On behalf of the Organizing and Program Committees and Editorial Team of MNPS-2019, Dr. Alexey B. Nadykto, Moscow State Technological University “STANKIN”, Moscow, Russia. EPJ Web of Conferences vol. 224 (2019)

ISSN: 2100-014X (Electronic Edition)

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