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Q: Why haven’t we been able to see the spectra of anti-hydrogen until recently? Why is it so hard to study anti-matter?
Physicist: Although anti-matter was first experimentally confirmed in 1932, no one has been able to see the atomic spectrum of any anti-elements until December 2016. That means there’s nowhere to find it: you can’t distill or mine anti-matter, you literally have to create it. Typically, when there’s enough energy around to create new matter and anti-matter, there’s also enough energy to send those new particles sailing. At CERN the process of creating anti-hydrogen from anti-protons and positrons is about 28% effective. Of the 90,000 anti-protons generated in a given attempt, only an average of 14 graduate to being contained anti-hydrogen.
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