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Taking Antimatter out of Hollywood and putting it back in CERN

World-leading experiment looks to answer fundamental questions about the Universe

The public associate antimatter with science fiction such as the film Angels and Demons, but the creation of antihydrogen at CERN by Swansea physicists has sparked world-wide media interest in the real science of antimatter. Antihydrogen was created, trapped and analysed in special equipment designed to answer fundamental questions about its properties with huge implications on the creation of the Universe at the Big Bang.

Building on the global media storm created by this work, a dissemination programme was launched to engage, enthuse and educate the public through a series of webcasts from CERN, newspaper and magazine articles, media interviews and school visits.The public’s imagination was further sparked by YouTube clips, organized public visits to the apparatus in CERN and animation software which allowed users to “re-create” this world-leading experiment.

“We are delighted that our ground-breaking research which seeks to answer one of the biggest questions in science – Why is the Universe composed of matter? – has led to a rich engagement programme with the public who are ever eager to understand basic science.”

Prof Mike Charlton, Head of Department of Physics, Swansea University, December 2013