- Conference date: 25-30 July 2004
- Location: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Antihydrogen atoms may become the easiest and most precise way to probe deeply into tests of violation of the CPT (charge conjugation, parity, time reversal) symmetry and the Weak Equivalence Principle (WEP). We review the first production of cold antihydrogen atoms within the ATHENA/AD‐1 experiment at CERN, its motivations and studies henceforth. The ATHENA success was followed almost immediately by the ATRAP group. From the initial claim of production of tens of thousand of these exotic species — by the mixing of cold and trapped positrons and antiprotons — we have evolved to better understand and control the system. The joint production for 2002 and 2003 has been re‐evaluated to about one million antiatoms. We have performed cooling efficiency studies of antiprotons within the positron cloud; developed ways to excite and heat the positron cloud, and probe its number, density and temperature in situ; developed antiproton and antihydrogen imaging tomography. We have also been able to gather information on the velocity of the formed antiatoms. A large uncertainty and lack of control remains over the formation process — as revealed by its measured temperature dependence — and the quantum number distribution of the population. We discuss various aspects of our findings below as well as future prospects for physics tests with antihydrogen.
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