The Royal Society Welcomes ELENA

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Kivli Royal Socienty Centre in Chicheley Hall

This year the Theo Murphy International Scientific Meeting has been dedicated to “Antiproton physics in the ELENA era”.  The meeting was held at Chicheley Hall, an English country house built in the 18th century, situated in Buckinghamshire. The purpose of this two day meeting (4th -5th September 2017) was to bring together members of the antimatter research community to the state-of-the-art and perspectives of the antimatter physics studies from both theoretical and experimental point of view, and discuss the impact of the new antiproton decelerator ELENA (Extra Low Energy Antiproton ring) when it starts up later this year.

The first antiproton beam in ELENA was injected on the 2nd August this year, thus achieving a fundamental milestone for the antimatter physics community.  Currently the ELENA antiproton storage ring and its transfer line are under commissioning to obtain the required beam properties which will allow to increase massively both the availability and the number of low energy antiprotons for the experiments.  

The first day of the meeting, the theoretical aspects of antimatter physics investigated in different experiments of the AD-ELENA complex were reviewed. Potential observables and predicting constraints were identified to the measurement precision of matter-antimatter asymmetry measurements in CPT violation, antihydrogen spectroscopy and antigravity. ELENA will open unique opportunities to investigate gravity-antigravity asymmetries in experiments as GBAR and AEgIS and ALPHA-g. 

After reviewing the theoretical prospects, the current status of each experiment in the AD-ELENA hall was presented, with remarkable improvements on the antiproton traps, spectroscopy techniques and detectors to significantly increase the precision of the measurements. 

The accelerator physics aspects of ELENA had also a relevant space in the agenda, with a talk presenting the current status of the ELENA machine and the commissioning progress, in which QUASAR fellows are contributing.

The QUASARs Dr. Javier Resta Lopez, James Hunt and AVA fellow Bianca Veglia presented posters about their research on beam dynamics studies of the ELENA machine. Prof Welsch presented an overview of the AVA project. Discussions were useful to establish potential collaborations and for the QUASARs to identify areas where their expertise could be applied to solve experimental problems.  

“What would Newton, once former president of the Royal Society, think about anti-apples going up or down?”