The Research Group 'antimatter spectroscopy', since 2013 financed by an ERC Starting Grant, carries out precise laser and microwave spectroscopy of atoms containing antimatter, and develops new techniques to manipulate antimatter particles using superconducting radiofrequency traps. According to the CPT theorem of particle physics, the 'antiworld' constructed by replacing all the matter particles in the universe with antimatter, inverting their spatial configuration, and reversing the flow of time - would be indistinguishable from our real matter world.
One cornerstone of this symmetry is that atoms made of antimatter, i.e. 'antiatoms', are expected to resonate at exactly the same characteristic optical and microwave frequencies as their matter counterparts; particles and their antiparticles are assumed to have exactly the same mass, and equal and opposite electric charge and magnetic moment. Any deviation, however small, would indicate that this fundamental symmetry of nature is broken. This project will synthesize three kinds of atoms containing antimatter and measure their atomic frequencies. New techniques to manipulate antiparticles using a superconducting radiofrequency Paul trap will be developed to make these experiments possible.