ALPHA : Antihydrogen Formation and Trapping
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.
- 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
- 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.