Electron plasmas as a diagnostic tool for hyperfine spectroscopy of antihydrogen

Long term magnetic confinement of antihydrogen atoms has recently been demonstrated by the ALPHA collaboration at CERN, opening the door to a range of experimental possibilities. Of particular interest is a measurement of the antihydrogen spectrum. A precise comparison of the spectrum of antihydrogen with that of hydrogen would be an excellent test of CPT symmetry. One prime candidate for precision CPT tests is the ground-state hyperfine transition, measured in hydrogen to a precision of nearly one part in 1012. Effective execution of such an experiment with trapped antihydrogen requires precise knowledge of the magnetic environment. Here we present a solution that uses an electron plasma confined in the antihydrogen trapping region. The cyclotron resonance of the electron plasma is probed with microwaves at the cyclotron frequency and the subsequent heating of the electron plasma is measured through the plasma quadrupole mode frequency. Using this method, the minimum magnetic field of the neutral trap can be determined to within 4 parts in 104. This technique was used extensively in the recent demonstration of resonant interaction with the hyperfine levels of trapped antihydrogen atoms.

Friesen, T., Amole, C., Ashkezari, M. D., Baquero-Ruiz, M., Bertsche, W., Bowe, P. D., Butler, E., Capra, A., Cesar, C. L., Charlton, M., Deller, A., Evetts, N., Eriksson, S., Fajans, J., Fujiwara, M. C., Gill, D. R., Gutierrez, A., Hangst, J. S., Hardy, W. N., Hayden, M. E., Isaac, C. A., Jonsell, S., Kurchaninov, L., Little, A., Madsen, N., McKenna, J. T. K., Menary, S., Napoli, S. C., Olchanski, K., Olin, A., Pusa, P., Rasmussen, C. Ø., Robicheaux, F., Sarid, E., Silveira, D. M., So, C., Stracka, S., Thompson, R. I., van der Werf, D. P., Wurtele, J. S., AIP Conf. Proc. 1521, 123 (2013)