Antimatter – or the lack of it – remains one of the biggest mysteries of science. Matter and its counterpart are identical except for opposite charge, and they annihilate when they meet. At the Big Bang, matter and antimatter should have been produced in equal amounts. However, we know that our world is made up of matter: antimatter seems to have disappeared. To find out what has happened to it, scientists employ a range of methods to investigate whether a tiny difference in the properties of matter and antimatter could point towards an explanation.
A diagram showing the region where antihydrogen atoms are synthesized and trapped in the ALPHA apparatus. IMAGE: Nature, copyright Macmillan Magazines 2010.
Researchers at the European Nuclear Research Centre (CERN), in Geneva claimed that had trapped dozens of hydrogen "antimatter" atoms, a technical feat that significantly boosts research into one of the great puzzles of particle physics.
Antimatter atoms produced and trapped at CERN. (VIDEO)