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Observation of relativistic antihydrogen atoms

By Glenn DelFosse Blanford

Abstract

An observation of relativistic antihydrogen atoms is reported in this dissertation. Experiment 862 at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory observed antihydrogen atoms produced by the interaction of a circulating beam of high momentum (3 < p < 9 GeV/c) antiprotons and a jet of molecular hydrogen gas. Since the neutral antihydrogen does not bend in the antiproton source magnets, the detectors could be located far from the interaction point on a beamline tangent to the storage ring. The detection of the antihydrogen is accomplished by ionizing the atoms far from the interaction point. The positron is deflected by a magnetic spectrometer and detected, as are the back to back photons resulting from its annihilation. The antiproton travels a distance long enough for its momentum and time of flight to be measured accurately. A statistically significant sample of 101 antihydrogen atoms has been observed. A measurement of the cross section for {bar H}{sup 0} production is outlined within. The cross section corresponds to the process where a high momentum antiproton causes e{sup +} e{sup -} pair creation near a nucleus with the e{sup +} being captured by the antiproton. Antihydrogen is the first atom made exclusively of antimatter to be detected. The observation experiment's results are the first step towards an antihydrogen spectroscopy experiment which would measure the n = 2 Lamb shift and fine structure

Topics: Fine Structure, 71 Classical And Quantum Mechanics, General Physics, Storage Rings, Atoms, Detection, Spectroscopy, Antimatter, Antiproton Sources, Positrons, Annihilation, 74 Atomic And Molecular Physics, Cross Sections, 72 Physics Of Elementary Particles And Fields, Magnets, Magnetic Spectrometers, Fermilab Accelerator, Lamb Shift, Hydrogen, Photons
Publisher: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.2172/16551
OAI identifier:
Provided by: UNT Digital Library
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