Antimatter in a new light
Physicists have been studying antiparticles for over 80 years, but they have not been able to elicit some secrets from them. Do they only differ in their charge or is their mass also different? This daring hypothesis would enable a novel model of our cosmos.
In the 27-kilometre ring of the LHC, the world's largest particle accelerator, protons collide at almost the speed of light. With these high-energy collisions, physicists study the behavior of subatomic particles and search for previously unknown phenomena. One of their greatest successes so far has been the discovery of the Higgs boson, with which they have found the last missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle of the Standard Model of particle physics.
In the shadow of the LHC, however, smaller experiments are also taking place that are not looking for new particles or interactions, but are investigating a part of our world that is already known: antimatter. In fact, we are teeming with antiparticles that are created by radioactive decay and then immediately annihilate again. Despite being so ubiquitous, they still raise many questions. For example, do they only differ from ordinary matter in their electrical charge, or do they also differ in other characteristics? …