Research - Niels Madsen

VACANCIES: PHD Position(s) Available

ALPHA : Antihydrogen Formation and Trapping

Brief Description

    The ALPHA collaboration works at the Antiproton Decelerator at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The experiment is a collaboration between a number of institutions. The project aims to trap antihydrogen, with eye towards doing spectroscopy on this trapped antihydrogen atoms for precision comparison with hydrogen. This comparions is motivated by the observation that the universe, counter to what one should expect from current understanding, consists only of matter. According to fundamental theories the universe should have been symmetric in the sense that it should consist of equal amounts of antimatter and matter. One possible explanation for the discrepancy is that there is a small (and unexpected) difference between matter and antimatter.

Swansea Contributions

  • Antihydrogen formation. Swansea has, as a former part of the ATHENA experiment (also at CERN), extensive experience in forming antihydrogen by merging plasmas of antiprotons and positrons.
  • Plasma measurement and control. Swansea works, in collaboration with, in particular Prof. Fajans group from Berkeley (also in ALPHA), on plasma measurement and control techniques for better control of the formed anithydrogen.
  • Superconducting Magnet Design and Control. Swansea has, in collaboration with (in particular) Berkeley and Aarhus, designed the superconducting magnetic trap for ALPHA (which was constructed by BNL) and implemented a quench protection and magnet control system based of a set of FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array).
  • Positron accumulation and transfer. Swansea is a world leader in positron physics, and is the provider of positrons in the ALPHA experiment. Swansea has constructed, installed and is operating a positron accumulator in the ALPHA experiment.

Plasma Physics : Plasma Control and Measurement

  • I am currently starting up a project to implement and use plasma control and measurement techniques to better control the positron and electron plasmas used for anithydrogen formation in ALPHA.