Matter and antimatter seem to respond equally to gravity

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The charge-to-mass ratios of protons and antiprotons have been measured in an experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, in Switzerland.

Some of the most interesting problems in physics are created bymatter and antimatter. The only difference is that a particle has a positive and a negative charge. They seem similar in other respects. One of the great mysteries of physics is that the universe seems to be made up of matter and not antimatter. Scientists around the world are trying to find a different explanation for why we exist.

Scientists have explored whether matter and antimatter experience gravity in a different way than matter, which would violate Einstein's weak equivalence principle. The BASE collaboration has shown that antimatter responds to gravity in the same way as matter.

The charge-to-mass ratios of protons and antiprotons were one of the important measurements that could determine the key difference between the two.

This work was done at the antimatter factory. The team confined antiprotons and negatively charged hydrogen ion in a Penning trap to make the measurements. The trap's magnetic-field strength and the particle's charge-to-mass ratio are used to calculate the trajectory of a particle. They were able to measure the cyclotron frequencies of the two particle types by feeding antiprotons and negatively charged hydrogen ion into the trap. The leader of the project said that they were able to get a result that was four times more precise than previous measures. causality and locality hold in the theories of the Standard Model.

The group used the measurements to test the weak equivalence principle. The principle says that different bodies should be in the same field and have the same acceleration. The BASE experiment placed the experiment on the surface of the Earth, which allowed for the measurement of the cyclotron-frequency to be made in the field of the Earth's surface.

The scientists found that the gravity of the Earth was the same as the gravity of the Sun, which means that the acceleration of matter and antimatter are the same.

Ulmer believes that these measurements could lead to new physics. He says that the accuracy of the interaction between antimatter and matter is comparable to the accuracy goal of the other research groups. If the results of our study differ from those of the other groups, it could lead to a completely new physics.

A 16-parts-per-trillion measurement of the antiproton-to-proton charge–mass ratio is described by Ulmer. There is a DOI titled " 10.1038/s41586-021-04203-w".

Nature journal information.

The news about antimatter and gravity was retrieved on January 5, 2022.

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