In 1995, experimenters made nine or 10 atoms of antihydrogen at the Center for European Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland. Since then, researchers have sought a method for making more antimatter, which would allow them to test fundamental theories of the universe. A team led by Gerald Gabrielse, Harvard professor of physics, is close to making a mass of antihydrogen atoms. These atoms would be trapped in a special apparatus where they can be held long enough to accurately measure their properties. How close is the team to achieving its goal? “Nine Harvard post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, plus collaborators from other universities, are breathing down its neck,” said Gabrielse in August 2001. “… I won’t stick my neck out far enough to give a date, but I’d be delighted if we made it before the end of this year.” Meanwhile, Alexander Dalgarno, Phillips Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University, and Bernard Zygelman, a physicist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, want to go one step further; they want to mix matter and antimatter to create the first molecule of antimatter.
Why antimatter matters so much
Scientists coming close to making quantities of antimatter