In March, scientists published a paper on an experiment that could alter our perception of the known universe. Using a specialized laser, researchers at CERN in Geneva were able to manipulate antimatter — something that seemed impossible just a decade ago. To understand antimatter fully, one must observe it. This is a difficult task because once it is created in a lab, it essentially sets out to destroy itself from the material realm immediately. Ten years ago, CERN was able to capture antimatter particles for 1,000 seconds — a huge breakthrough but also a tight window to conduct exhaustive research on the makeup of the universe. The Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) project sought to extend that timeframe by literally cooling and slowing down those antimatter atoms using a specialized laser. They were successful, reducing the particles to speeds so slow that the laser could control and move them.
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