The weak equivalence principle states that the motion of a body in a gravitational field is independent of its structure or composition. This postulate of general relativity has been tested to very high precision with ordinary matter, but no relevant experimental verification with antimatter has ever been carried out. The AEGIS experiment will measure the gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen to ultimately 1% precision. For this purpose, a pulsed horizontal antihydrogen beam with a velocity of several 100 m s-1 will be produced. Its vertical deflection due to gravity will be detected by a setup consisting of material gratings coupled with a position-sensitive detector, operating as a moiré deflectometer or an atom interferometer. The AEGIS experiment is installed at CERN's Antiproton Decelerator, currently the only facility in the world which produces copious amounts of low-energy antiprotons. The construction of the setup has been going on since 2010 and is nearing completion. A proof-of-principle experiment with antiprotons has demonstrated that the deflection of antiparticles by a few μm due to an external force can be detected. Technological and scientific development pertaining to specific challenges of the experiment, such as antihydrogen formation by positronium charge exchange or the position-sensitive detection of antihydrogen annihilations, is ongoing.

Probing antimatter gravity - The AEGIS experiment at CERN

AGHION, STEFANO;CONSOLATI, GIOVANNI;EVANS, CRAIG WILLIAM;FERRAGUT, RAFAEL OMAR;Sacerdoti, M.;
2016

Abstract

The weak equivalence principle states that the motion of a body in a gravitational field is independent of its structure or composition. This postulate of general relativity has been tested to very high precision with ordinary matter, but no relevant experimental verification with antimatter has ever been carried out. The AEGIS experiment will measure the gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen to ultimately 1% precision. For this purpose, a pulsed horizontal antihydrogen beam with a velocity of several 100 m s-1 will be produced. Its vertical deflection due to gravity will be detected by a setup consisting of material gratings coupled with a position-sensitive detector, operating as a moiré deflectometer or an atom interferometer. The AEGIS experiment is installed at CERN's Antiproton Decelerator, currently the only facility in the world which produces copious amounts of low-energy antiprotons. The construction of the setup has been going on since 2010 and is nearing completion. A proof-of-principle experiment with antiprotons has demonstrated that the deflection of antiparticles by a few μm due to an external force can be detected. Technological and scientific development pertaining to specific challenges of the experiment, such as antihydrogen formation by positronium charge exchange or the position-sensitive detection of antihydrogen annihilations, is ongoing.
4th International Conference on New Frontiers in Physics, ICNFP 2015
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1007037
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