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Sympathetic cooling of positrons to cryogenic temperatures for antihydrogen production

TitleSympathetic cooling of positrons to cryogenic temperatures for antihydrogen production
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBaker, CJ, Bertsche, W, Capra, A, Cesar, CL, Charlton, M, A. Mathad, C, Eriksson, S, Evans, A, Evetts, N, Fabbri, S, Fajans, J, Friesen, T, Fujiwara, MC, Grandemange, P, Granum, P, Hangst, JS, Hayden, ME, Hodgkinson, D, Isaac, CA, Johnson, MA, Jones, JM, Jones, SA, Jonsell, S, Kurchaninov, L, Madsen, N, Maxwell, D, McKenna, JTK, Menary, S, Momose, T, Mullan, P, Olchanski, K, Olin, A, Peszka, J, Powell, A, Pusa, P, Rasmussen, CØ, Robicheaux, F, Sacramento, RL, Sameed, M, Sarid, E, Silveira, DM, Stutter, G, So, C, Tharp, TD, Thompson, RI, van der Werf, DP, Wurtele, JS
JournalNature Communications
ISBN Number2041-1723

The positron, the antiparticle of the electron, predicted by Dirac in 1931 and discovered by Anderson in 1933, plays a key role in many scientific and everyday endeavours. Notably, the positron is a constituent of antihydrogen, the only long-lived neutral antimatter bound state that can currently be synthesized at low energy, presenting a prominent system for testing fundamental symmetries with high precision. Here, we report on the use of laser cooled Be+ ions to sympathetically cool a large and dense plasma of positrons to directly measured temperatures below 7 K in a Penning trap for antihydrogen synthesis. This will likely herald a significant increase in the amount of antihydrogen available for experimentation, thus facilitating further improvements in studies of fundamental symmetries.