ERC supports antihydrogen research

As part of a Europe-wide effort to promote high-level research, the European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a €2.14 million grant to ALPHA spokesperson Jeffrey Hangst, which will further the collaboration’s study of the antihydrogen spectrum. The grant will be used to purchase laser spectroscopy equipment for the new ALPHA-2 set-up.


ALPHA Spokesperson, Jeffrey Hangst, in front of the new ALPHA-2 set-up.

The incorporation of lasers into ALPHA-2 will allow the team to take precise measurements of trapped antihydrogen. Among the new equipment financed by the grant will be a high-precision laser and stabilisation system to study the transition from the ground state to the first excited state in antihydrogen. As this spectral line is very well known in hydrogen, its study in antihydrogen will provide essential data for matter/antimatter symmetry investigations.

“The grant has come at a perfect time for us,” says Jeffrey Hangst. “We will be procuring most of the equipment in 2013 and getting it ready to be used when the beam comes back after the shutdown. All of the collaboration members who have laser experience will be involved in the laser project, including two new postdocs and a PhD student who will be hired with grant financing. We hope to be ready to go in 2014.”

by Katarina Anthony