Antihydrogen can be synthesized and accumulated in a magnetic trap, its lifetime is 1000 seconds. To achieve a veryhigh precision in experiments is possible only for very cold antihydrogen at temperatures millikelvin. But laser cooling of antihydrogen is difficult to implement in practice. The large recoil energy imposes a restriction on the minimum temperature which can be achieved by simplest methods of laser cooling. The fast and efficient laser cooling requires powerful laser sources in a deep ultraviolet. Pulsed sources with 121.6 nanometer wavelength already exist, but have a small power not sufficient for the fast cooling. The important but complicated technical task is an increase of the intensity of these lasers
The alternative way is to use different transitions in the antihydrogen atom for its cooling or new laser cooling schemes. Several attempts in this direction have been made. The powerful laser sources with required wavelengths already exist. However on this way we encounter with other problems like large photoionization loss increasing with a laser power.
Recently proposed boofer cooling of atomic hydrogen seems promising and possibly can be apply to antihydrogen. Usual ultracold hydrogen is also interesting object for the investigation of BEC phase and spectroscopic experiments of high precision.
Sympathetic cooling of antihydrogen ions by the Be+ works successfully that was confirmed by numerical simulations. However the yield of antihydrogen ions is extremely small because of high energy of protons used for synthesis. Sympathetic cooling can be also used to pre-cool the antiprotons for further antihydrogen production.This is very difficult and challenging technical task.
The great experience of cooling of the neutral atoms exists, the physical mechanisms of laser cooling have been studied. The experimental results are in agreement with known theoretical models. Many atom’s species have been laser cooled, the next step is the production of ultracold (anti)hydrogen.
Ultracold atoms have already found their application in physics of microwave and optical frequency standards, the use of neutral atoms in quantum computer simulations is under discussion. We should expect that in addition to fundamental application ultracold antimatter will also useful in physics as a probe or a source of high energy. It seems promising to improve methods of laser cooling of antihydrogen and antimatter. Cooling of antimatter to microkelvin is of great importance for fundamental science
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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