Evaporative cooling of antiprotons and efforts to trap antihydrogen


Evaporative cooling has proven to be an invaluable technique in atomic physics, allowing for the study of effects such as Bose-Einstein condensation. One main topic of this thesis is the first application of evaporative cooling to cold non-neutral plasmas stored in an ion trap. We (the ALPHA collaboration) have achieved cooling of a cloud of antiprotons to a temperature as low as 9 K, two orders of magnitude lowerthan ever directly measured previously. The measurements are well-described by appropriate rate equations for the temperature and number of particles. The technique has direct application to the ongoing attempts to produce trapped samples of antihydrogen. In these experiments the maximum trap depths are ex tremely shallow (~0.6 K for ground state atoms), and careful control of the trapped antiprotons and positrons used to form the (anti)atoms is essential to succes. Since 2006 powerful tools to diagnose and manipulate the antiproton and positron plasmas in the ALPHA apparatus have been developed and used in attempts to trap antihydrogen. These efforts are the second main topic of this thesis.

Gorm Bruun Andresen, PhD Thesis, Aarhus University (2010)