ALPHA (Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus) is an international collaboration based at CERN, and which is working with trapped antihydrogen atoms, the antimatter counterpart of the simplest atom, hydrogen. By precise comparisons of hydrogen and antihydrogen, the experiment hopes to study fundamental symmetries between matter and antimatter.
Members of the ALPHA Collaboration from Canada were recently awarded the NSERC John C. Polanyi Award for their contributions to ALPHA's sucesses in trapping and measuring antihydrogen atoms.
Physicists have long wondered if the gravitational interaction between antimatter and matter might be different than that between matter and itself. Do atoms made of antimatter, like antihydrogen, fall at a different rate to those made of matter, or might they even fall up – antigravity?