February 2014

Dr. Jonathan Wurtele (University of California, Berkeley): Synthesizing, Trapping and Probing Antihydrogen

The anti-electron, known as a positron, was first predicted in 1931 by Paul Dirac and discovered experimentally by Carl Anderson in 1932. It was not until 1955 that Emilio Segre and Owen Chamberlain discovered the antiproton. Since then antimatter has captured the public’s imagination; work at Geneva's CERN as imagined by novelist Dan Brown was a focus of his bestseller, Angels and Demons, and the popular movie based on it. Antihydrogen is composed of a positron and an antiproton. I will describe what really happens at CERN when physicists create, trap and probe antihydrogen, and future plans for precision measurements of its properties.

February 18, 2014, Lusa Pastry Café, 6pm - 7pm.