Measuring the gravitational free-fall of antihydrogen

Amsler, Claude; Ariga, Akitaka; Ariga, Tomoko; Ereditato, Antonio; Kawada, Jiro; Kimura, Mitsuhiro; Pistillo, Ciro; Scampoli, Paola; Storey, James William (2014). Measuring the gravitational free-fall of antihydrogen. Hyperfine Interactions, 228(1-3), pp. 151-157. Springer 10.1007/s10751-014-1055-2

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Antihydrogen holds the promise to test, for the first time, the universality of freefall with a system composed entirely of antiparticles. The AEgIS experiment at CERN’s antiproton decelerator aims to measure the gravitational interaction between matter and antimatter by measuring the deflection of a beam of antihydrogen in the Earths gravitational field (g). The principle of the experiment is as follows: cold antihydrogen atoms are synthesized in a Penning-Malberg trap and are Stark accelerated towards a moir´e deflectometer, the classical counterpart of an atom interferometer, and annihilate on a position sensitive detector. Crucial to the success of the experiment is the spatial precision of the position sensitive detector.We propose a novel free-fall detector based on a hybrid of two technologies: emulsion detectors, which have an intrinsic spatial resolution of 50 nm but no temporal information, and a silicon strip / scintillating fiber tracker to provide timing and positional information. In 2012 we tested emulsion films in vacuum with antiprotons from CERN’s antiproton decelerator. The annihilation vertices could be observed directly on the emulsion surface using the microscope facility available at the University of Bern. The annihilation vertices were successfully reconstructed with a resolution of 1–2 μmon the impact parameter. If such a precision can be realized in the final detector, Monte Carlo simulations suggest of order 500 antihydrogen annihilations will be sufficient to determine gwith a 1 % accuracy. This paper presents current research towards the development of this technology for use in the AEgIS apparatus and prospects for the realization of the final detector.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics (AEC)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Laboratory for High Energy Physics (LHEP)

UniBE Contributor:

Amsler, Claude; Ariga, Akitaka; Ariga, Tomoko; Ereditato, Antonio; Kawada, Jiro; Kimura, Mitsuhiro; Pistillo, Ciro; Scampoli, Paola and Storey, James William


500 Science > 530 Physics








Jan Dirk Brinksma

Date Deposited:

09 Jun 2015 14:17

Last Modified:

08 Oct 2015 09:39

Publisher DOI:


Additional Information:

Kollaboration - Es sind nur die Berner Autoren namentlich erwähnt.




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