Based in the Physics Department at UCL, we are building a new experiment to create a pulsed source of positronium atoms. These are exotic atoms, made half of matter (an electron) and half of anti-matter (a positron).
Once we have made these atoms we will drive them to highly excited Rydberg states with pulsed lasers, and then manipulate them with electric fields, eventually making a slow beam for a precise gravity measurement, addressing the question of how anti-matter interacts with gravity.
We are just starting out on this project, and along the way there will be many experiments to perform, and many questions to answer: how can we make an intense source of positrons? How can we cool the positrons? What is the most efficient way of making positronium, and then exciting them to Rydberg states? How does anti-matter interact with gravity?
Over the coming months and years we will answer these questions, and many more! So come back to our blog and see how we’re getting on…