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I Longest Antimatter Containment

  1. Mar 11, 2017 #1

    From what I read, the longest antimatter containment ever achieved was >16 minutes by the Alpha project at CERN in 2011.

    Has this ever been beaten?
    What is the limiting factor?...the anti-hydrogen will always have a magnetic moment to be held by the magnetic field of the trap, so is it the fact that it exists in an imperfect (though very strong) vacuum, and eventually annihilates over time?

    Haven't been able to find much info on this.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    BASE kept antiprotons for more than a year, with no detectable annihilation.
    Containing charged antiprotons is much easier than containing neutral antihydrogen. The trap potential for antihydrogen is much shallower, so more atoms escape over time.

    I didn't see an update. They clearly saw some antihydrogen atoms left after 1000 s, and probably (2.6 sigma significance) some after 2000 s.
    The annihilation timescale is estimated to be 10,000 to 100,000 seconds, so annihilation is a small effect.
    More details in the paper
  4. Mar 11, 2017 #3
    Unless you are there when it happens
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