Siu Au Lee and Dylan Yost have begun a collaboration with the ATRAP experiment taking place at CERN– The European Organization for Nuclear Research located in Geneva, Switzerland. The goals of ATRAP are to trap and probe antihydrogen atoms with the techniques of laser spectroscopy. An antihydrogen atom is composed of a positron (antielectron) and an antiproton and is the exact antimatter version of the hydrogen atom. By sensitively comparing antihydrogen and hydrogen, ATRAP scientists hope to learn more about the asymmetry of matter and antimatter found in the universe.
Lee and Yost have been recruited to build a Lyman Alpha laser source and they are being assisted in this challenging project by Bill Fairbank. This special radiation source will be used to laser cool the antihydrogen atoms to a temperature of only a few milliKelvin above absolute zero. With antimatter at these extremely cold temperatures, the measurements of antihydrogen will gain much needed precision.