Anti-matter finally caught

Physicists at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (Cern) have announced they have created and trapped anti-matter, one of the biggest mysteries of modern science.

This content was published on November 18, 2010 - 08:48 and agencies

In an article in the journal Nature, Cern said it had produced anti-hydrogen atoms – the opposite of a hydrogen atom – in a vacuum and kept them viable for about a tenth of a second: "Long enough to study them," it said.

Some 38 anti-hydrogen atoms have now been trapped long enough for scientists to take a look at them in their quest to understand what happened to anti-matter after the Big Bang explosion that created the universe.

"For reasons that no one yet understands, nature ruled out anti-matter," Jeffrey Hangst, a spokesman for the "Alpha" experiment, said in a statement. "This inspires us to work that much harder to see if anti-matter holds some secret."

The research centre is located on the Swiss-French border near Geneva.

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