Enhanced Control and Reproducibility of Non-Neutral Plasmas

The simultaneous control of the density and particle number of non-neutral plasmas confined in Penning-Malmberg traps is demonstrated. Control is achieved by setting the plasma’s density by applying a rotating electric field while simultaneously fixing its axial potential via evaporative cooling. This novel method is particularly useful for stabilizing positron plasmas, as the procedures used to collect positrons from radioactive sources typically yield plasmas with variable densities and particle numbers; it also simplifies optimization studies that require plasma parameter scans. The reproducibility achieved by applying this technique to the positron and electron plasmas used by the ALPHA antihydrogen experiment at CERN, combined with other developments, contributed to a 10-fold increase in the antiatom trapping rate.

M. Ahmadi, B. X. R. Alves, C. J. Baker, W. Bertsche, A. Capra, C. Carruth, C. L. Cesar, M. Charlton, S. Cohen, R. Collister, S. Eriksson, A. Evans, N. Evetts, J. Fajans, T. Friesen, M. C. Fujiwara, D. R. Gill, J. S. Hangst, W. N. Hardy, M. E. Hayden, C. A. Isaac, M. A. Johnson, S. A. Jones, S. Jonsell, L. Kurchaninov, N. Madsen, M. Mathers, D. Maxwell, J. T. K. McKenna, S. Menary, T. Momose, J. J. Munich, K. Olchanski, A. Olin, P. Pusa, C. Ø. Rasmussen, F. Robicheaux, R. L. Sacramento, M. Sameed, E. Sarid, D. M. Silveira, C. So, G. Stutter, T. D. Tharp, J. E. Thompson, R. I. Thompson, D. P. van der Werf, and J. S. Wurtele, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 025001 (2018)