“We have obtained the first glimpse inside an antihydrogen atom, and this is a significant step on the way to precision measurements that will allow matter/antimatter comparisons to be made,” says Gerald Gabrielse, professor of physics at Harvard and leader of the research team. Such comparisons could show why antimatter and matter have not destroyed each other; in other words, why there’s a universe at all. They also might cause physicists to scrap all their theories of how the universe operates. Although no one is making any claims at this point, practical applications might come from the research. Culture-boggling devices like the laser and transistor emerged from efforts to solve basic physics problems, and the quest for an antimatter container has already produced new methods of analyzing medical drugs and ways to better shield medical imaging equipment from stray magnetic fields.