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Monday, October 16, 2006

First Antimatter Chemistry
"The Athena collaboration, an experimental group working at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, has measured chemical reactions involving antiprotonic hydrogen, a bound object consisting of a negatively charged antiproton paired with a positively charged proton.

This composite object, which can also be called protonium, eventually annihilates itself, creating an even number of telltale charged pions. Normally the annihilation comes about in a trillionth of a second, but in the Athena apparatus (and its very thorough vacuum conditions) the duration is a whopping millionth of a second."

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