Dr. Jones describes his contributions to positron-annihilation and positron-plasma experiments at UCR.
Ongoing development and improvements in controlling and manipulating large numbers of positrons, (electron antimatter) over the past 20 years has made possible many new experimental investigations, for instance, in the production of antihydrogen at CERN. There remains, however, much that is unknown regarding antimatter, particularly the apparent asymmetry of the ratio of matter to antimatter in the observable universe.
Adric's research at UCR involves positronium (Ps), a hydrogen-like pseudo-atom comprised of a bound positron-electron pair. Ps is inherently unstable, prone to matter-antimatter annihilation on nanosecond time scales resulting in the emission of extremely energetic gamma rays. Although the short lifetime of Ps makes it a challenging target for experimental investigation, today we routinely and efficiently produce large numbers of Ps atoms, allowing experimental investigation of many interesting facets of antimatter.
Adric described their group's efforts towards producing a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) of Ps, an exotic quantum state of matter that yields large, coherent densities of Ps. Such special states of Ps are expected to exhibit lasing and raise the possibility of creating a gamma-ray laser.
Adric received his PhD from the Australian National University, where he was primarily responsible for commissioning the Australian Positron Beam Facility (APBF), as a key component of the $8M Australian Government Center for Antimatter-Matter Studies. Adric met Leigh Hargreaves during this time when Leigh was involved in commissioning the Positron Reaction Microscope experiment, which uses the APBF as the positron source for its incident beam.
Since completing his PhD in 2011, Adric has worked at UCSD, undertaking experiments measuring positron binding to atoms and molecules, and this year he moved to UCR as a postdoctoral scholar.
Thank you Adric for an informative visit!