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Antimatter hydrogen passes symmetry test

No sign of CPT violation seen in measure of atomic energy levels

11:00am, December 19, 2016
ALPHA-2 experiment

ANTIMATTER MATCH  Scientists with the ALPHA-2 experiment, shown above, found that antimatter and matter versions of hydrogen behave alike. The frequency of light necessary to boost antihydrogen atoms into a higher energy state is the same as that for normal hydrogen atoms.

An antimatter atom abides by the same rules as its matter look-alike. Scientists studying antihydrogen have found that the energy needed to bump the atoms into an excited, or high-energy, state is the same as for normal hydrogen atoms.

Scientists at the European particle physics lab CERN in Geneva created antihydrogen atoms by combining antiprotons and positrons, the electron’s antiparticle. Hitting the resulting atoms with a laser tuned to a particular frequency of light boosted the antihydrogen atoms to a higher energy. The frequency of laser light needed to induce this transition was the same as that needed for normal hydrogen atoms, indicating that the energy jump was the same, scientists from the ALPHA-2 experiment report December 19 in Nature.

Antihydrogen’s similarity to hydrogen conforms to a principle known as charge-parity-time, or CPT, symmetry — the idea that the laws

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