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Prospects for Studies of the Free Fall and Gravitational Quantum States of Antimatter

Abstract : Different experiments are ongoing to measure the effect of gravity on cold neutral antimatter atoms such as positronium, muonium, and antihydrogen. Among those, the project GBAR at CERN aims to measure precisely the gravitational fall of ultracold antihydrogen atoms. In the ultracold regime, the interaction of antihydrogen atoms with a surface is governed by the phenomenon of quantum reflection which results in bouncing of antihydrogen atoms on matter surfaces. This allows the application of a filtering scheme to increase the precision of the free fall measurement. In the ultimate limit of smallest vertical velocities, antihydrogen atoms are settled in gravitational quantum states in close analogy to ultracold neutrons (UCNs). Positronium is another neutral system involving antimatter for which free fall under gravity is currently being investigated at UCL. Building on the experimental techniques under development for the free fall measurement, gravitational quantum states could also be observed in positronium. In this contribution, we report on the status of the ongoing experiments and discuss the prospects of observing gravitational quantum states of antimatter and their implications.
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Contributor : Gestionnaire Hal-Upmc <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 28, 2015 - 2:56:17 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 5:32:12 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 10:32:55 AM


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G. Dufour, D. B. Cassidy, P. Crivelli, P. Debu, A. Lambrecht, et al.. Prospects for Studies of the Free Fall and Gravitational Quantum States of Antimatter. Advances in High Energy Physics, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2015, 2015, pp.379642. ⟨10.1155/2015/379642⟩. ⟨hal-01206155⟩



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