CERN scientists carry out laser cooling of Positronium

CERN scientists carry out laser cooling of Positronium

News: In a first, an international team of physicists from the Anti-hydrogen Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy (AEgIS) collaboration has achieved a breakthrough by demonstrating the laser cooling of Positronium.

About
• Physicists representing the Antihydrogen Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy (AEgIS) collaboration announced this scientific achievement.
• AEgIS is a collaboration of physicists from 19 European and one Indian research group. The primary scientific goal of the AEgIS is the direct measurement of the Earth’s gravitational acceleration, g, on antihydrogen.

The experiment:
• The experiment was performed at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, more popularly known as CERN, in Geneva.
• Experimentalists achieved laser cooling of Positronium atoms initially from ~380 Kelvin to ~170 Kelvin, and demonstrated the cooling in one dimension using a 70-nanosecond pulse of the alexandrite-based laser system.
• The lasers deployed, researchers said, were either in the deep ultraviolet or in the infrared frequency bands.

Significance
• This is an important precursor experiment to the formation of antiHydrogen and the measurement of Earth’s gravitational acceleration on antihydrogen in the AEgIS experiment.
• In addition, this scientific feat could open prospects to produce a gamma-ray laser that would eventually allow researchers to look inside the atomic nucleus and have applications beyond physics.
• This experiment will pave the way for performing spectroscopic comparisons required for the Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), the study of the light and its interaction with charged matter, and a possible degenerate gas of Positronium down the road.
• According to CERN, the new scientific development will allow high-precision measurements of the properties and gravitational behaviour of this exotic but simple matter–antimatter system, which could reveal newer physics.
• It also allows the production of a positronium Bose–Einstein condensate, in which all constituents occupy the same quantum state.
Such a condensate has been proposed as a candidate to produce coherent gamma-ray light made up of monochromatic waves that have a constant phase difference between them. 

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