"Investigating the Mysteries of Antimatter" CERN Session at AAAS

Where: AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, United States, in Austin Convention Center - Room 18B

When: Friday 16 February 2018, 1.30-3.00 pm

Speakers: Andrei Kounine (MIT, USA), Chloe Malbrunot (CERN, Switzerland) and Toru Iijima (Nagoya University, Japan)


Dear Journalists,

CERN is pleased to invite you to the session “Investigating the Mysteries of Antimatter” at the AAAS conference, where three physicists will present and discuss the latest antimatter research.

Particles and antiparticles have the same mass but opposite electric charges. When a matter particle meets its antimatter doppelganger, they annihilate into pure energy. Theorists predict that the Big Bang must have filled the early universe with equal amounts of matter and antimatter. But today, everything we see is made almost entirely of matter. One of the big questions in physics is what happened to this missing antimatter. Where did it go?

In order to explain the matter/antimatter asymmetry, physicists are searching for subtle differences between matter and antimatter particles. Scientists can study antimatter in many ways: catching antiparticles in outer space, creating them on Earth with particle colliders, and even trapping antimatter in magnetic fields.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) is the most sensitive particle detector ever deployed in space. It is attached to the International Space Station (ISS) and captures particles and antiparticles drifting through the cosmos. During this session, the AMS collaboration will present an update on the search for heavy antimatter and new results on light antimatter particles. These results also have implications in the ongoing search for dark matter—an invisible type of matter which interacts with visible matter through its gravitational attraction.

The LHCb experiment at CERN and the Belle II experiment, which is about to start in Japan, are studying antimatter by using high-energy particle colliders, such as the LHC. By measuring and comparing the rare decays of matter and antimatter particles produced during the collisions, they can look for any behavioural differences that could help explain the cosmic imbalance.

Finally, scientists will present the latest results from CERN’s Antimatter Factory, the Antiproton Decelerator (AD), which uses a series of electric and magnetic fields to slow down and trap antimatter. By trapping antiparticles, scientists can make precision measurement of their properties. The ALPHA experiment, for instance, recently measured the light spectrum of an antihydrogen atom and reported their findings in Nature.

Ten years after the Nobel Prize in Physics on matter/antimatter broken symmetries, this session will discuss the past, present, and future of antimatter research. We hope to see you there!

More information

Type of event


Event Date

16 Feb 2018, 13.30 - 15.00


Austin Convention Center, Texas

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