Hyperfine Interactions

, Volume 212, Issue 1–3, pp 51–59 | Cite as


Gravitational behavior of antihydrogen at rest
  • Pascal Debu
  • for the GBAR collaboration


The GBAR project aims to perform the first test of the Equivalence Principle with antimatter by measuring the free fall of ultra-cold antihydrogen atoms. The objective is to measure the gravitational acceleration to better than a percent in a first stage, with a long term perspective to reach a much higher precision using gravitational quantum states of antihydrogen. The production of ~20 μK atoms proceeds via sympathetic cooling of \(\mathrm{\overline{H}^+}\) ions by Be +  ions. \(\mathrm{\overline{H}^+}\) ions are produced via a two-step process, involving the interaction of bursts of 107 slow antiprotons from the AD (or ELENA upgrade) at CERN with a dense positronium cloud. In order to produce enough positronium, it is necessary to realize an intense source of slow positrons, a few 108 per second. This is done with a small electron linear accelerator. A few 1010 positrons are accumulated every cycle in a Penning–Malmberg trap before they are ejected onto a positron-to-positronium converter. The overall scheme of the experiment is described and the status of the installation of the prototype positron source at Saclay is shown. The accumulation scheme of positrons is given, and positronium formation results are presented. The estimated performance and efficiency of the various steps of the experiment are given.


Antihydrogen Gravitation Antimatter 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEA/DSM/IRFUGif-sur-Yvette CedexFrance

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