Physicists Learn to Superfreeze Antimatter (Hint: Pew Pew!)
It’s not easy. “Hydrogen is just really hard to laser-cool, because of these bloody ultraviolet lasers,” Hangst says.
The laser has to be precise at a bunch of different jobs. “You have to really precisely control the frequency so we can do the Doppler shift,” says Takamasa Momose, a chemist at the University of British Columbia and one of the laser’s builders. Also, the laser has to put out enough energy in its pulses so the cooling doesn’t take forever.
But it’s not impossible. The team built all that. And when they shot it at antihydrogen, it cooled off just like hydrogen would, already a good sign.
To be clear, it’s not like you can just stick a thermometer into the magnetic trap. You measure this energy differently….