ATRAP Buffer-Gas Positron Accumulator
Comeau, Daniel Andre
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The ATRAP collaboration has been creating antihydrogen, the simplest antimatter atom, since 2002 and has a long-term goal of performing precision laser spectroscopy on these antihydrogen atoms. ATRAP has produced antihydrogen by positron cooling of antiprotons and by a laser-controlled charge-exchange process. Both methods require large numbers of antiprotons and positrons (the constituent particles of antihydrogen). This dissertation describes the methods developed to increase the number of positrons available for the ATRAP experiments by a factor of 200. The development of the new positron loading scheme has enabled the ATRAP collaboration to greatly increase the daily rate of antihydrogen production. Positrons originating from a radioactive source travel through a moderating material and are accumulated in a differentially pumped vacuum chamber. When required, the positrons are sent through a complex magnetically-guided beamline to the location where antihydrogen is produced. The system built allows for a reliable, highly-efficient method of providing positrons to the ATRAP experiment.