Centrifugal Separation and Equilibration Dynamics in an Electron-Antiproton Plasma

Charges in cold, multiple-species, non-neutral plasmas separate radially by mass, forming centrifugally separated states. Here, we report the first detailed measurements of such states in an electron-antiproton plasma, and the first observations of the separation dynamics in any centrifugally separated system. While the observed equilibrium states are expected and in agreement with theory, the equilibration time is approximately constant over a wide range of parameters, a surprising and as yet unexplained result. Electron-antiproton plasmas play a crucial role in antihydrogen trapping experiments.

G.B. Andresen, M.D. Ashkezari, M. Baquero-Ruiz, W. Bertsche, P.D. Bowe, E. Butler, C.L. Cesar, S. Chapman, M. Charlton, A. Deller, S. Eriksson, J. Fajans, T. Friesen, M.C. Fujiwara, D.R. Gill, A. Gutierrez, J.S. Hangst, W.N. Hardy, M.E. Hayden, A.J. Humphries, R. Hydomako, S. Jonsell, N. Madsen, S. Menary, P. Nolan, A. Olin, A. Povilus, P. Pusa, F. Robicheaux, E. Sarid, D.M. Silveira, C. So, J.W. Storey, R.I. Thompson, D.P. van der Werf, J.S. Wurtele and Y. Yamazaki, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 145001 (2011)