Joel Fajans: Antimatter, Anti-Atoms, and the Big Bang

Antimatter, Anti-Atoms, and the Big Bang

Joel Fajans, Professor of Physics, UC Berkeley

Antimatter has long fascinated scientists, science fiction writers and laymen. The Big Bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter, and one of the grand challenges in science is to explain why there is very little antimatter in the universe. Antimatter electrons, called positrons, were first discovered in Pasadena in the 1930s, and antiprotons in Berkeley in the 1950s. But anti-atoms were more elusive. Recently, physicists at CERN trapped anti-atoms for the first time and have begun to study how these atoms interact with light and gravity. These studies may explain why antimatter is so scarce. Dr. Fajans explains the properties of antimatter and how his research team (the ALPHA collaboration) was able to trap and study anti-atoms.

MLF: Humanities/Science & Technology
Location: SF Club Office
Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program
$20 standard, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID)
Program Organizer: George Hammond