Stockholms universitet

Svante JonsellUniversitetslektor

Om mig

Jag är lektor i teoretisk atomfysik. Jag kom till Stockholm 2009. Dessförinnan var jag lektor vid Swansea Unviersity i Wales.


Förutom min forskning är jag ansvarig för Fysikums program för Öppna Föreläsningar, sitter i kommittéen för AlbaNovas kollokvieprogram och koordinerar examensarbeten på Master-nivå.

HT2017 kommer jag att undervisa en avancerad kurs i atomfysik.


Min forskning handlar främst om två områden.

1. Studier av antiatomer. Jag är medlem av två sammarbeten på CERN, ALPHA och GBAR, som båda syftar till att testa fundamentala materie-antimaterie symmetrier genom att jämföra anti-väte med vanligt väte. ALPHA:s huvudmål är att testa det s.k. CPT-teoremet genom laserspektroskopi på antiväte. Vi lyckades nyligen göra den första mätningen av den s.k. 1S-2S linjen i antiväte. GBAR har just påbörjats, men kommer att mäta gravitationskraften på antiväte.

2. Jag studerar även egenskaper hos ultrakalla atomer (d.v.s. atomer som kylts till 0,000001 grader över absoluta nollpunkten). Vid dessa temperaturer beter sig atomerna kvantmekaniskt. Mitt huvudområde här är s.k. Efimovtillstånd av tre atomer. Jag har dock också jobbat med laserkylning m.m.



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Observation of the 1S-2S transition in trapped antihydrogen

    2017. M. Ahmadi (et al.). Nature 541 (7638), 506-510


    The spectrum of the hydrogen atom has played a central part in fundamental physics over the past 200 years. Historical examples of its importance include the wavelength measurements of absorption lines in the solar spectrum by Fraunhofer, the identification of transition lines by Balmer, Lyman and others, the empirical description of allowed wavelengths by Rydberg, the quantum model of Bohr, the capability of quantum electrodynamics to precisely predict transition frequencies, and modern measurements of the 1S-2S transition by Hansch1 to a precision of a few parts in 10(15). Recent technological advances have allowed us to focus on antihydrogen-the antimatter equivalent of hydrogen(2-4). The Standard Model predicts that there should have been equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the primordial Universe after the Big Bang, but today's Universe is observed to consist almost entirely of ordinary matter. This motivates the study of antimatter, to see if there is a small asymmetry in the laws of physics that govern the two types of matter. In particular, the CPT (charge conjugation, parity reversal and time reversal) theorem, a cornerstone of the Standard Model, requires that hydrogen and antihydrogen have the same spectrum. Here we report the observation of the 1S-2S transition in magnetically trapped atoms of antihydrogen. We determine that the frequency of the transition, which is driven by two photons from a laser at 243 nanometres, is consistent with that expected for hydrogen in the same environment. This laser excitation of a quantum state of an atom of antimatter represents the most precise measurement performed on an anti-atom. Our result is consistent with CPT invariance at a relative precision of about 2 x 10(-10).

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  • An improved limit on the charge of antihydrogen from stochastic acceleration

    2016. M. Ahmadi (et al.). Nature 529 (7586), 373-+


    Antimatter continues to intrigue physicists because of its apparent absence in the observable Universe. Current theory requires that matter and antimatter appeared in equal quantities after the Big Bang, but the Standard Model of particle physics offers no quantitative explanation for the apparent disappearance of half the Universe. It has recently become possible to study trapped atoms(1-4) of antihydrogen to search for possible, as yet unobserved, differences in the physical behaviour of matter and antimatter. Here we consider the charge neutrality of the antihydrogen atom. By applying stochastic acceleration to trapped antihydrogen atoms, we determine an experimental bound on the antihydrogen charge, Qe, of vertical bar Q vertical bar < 0.71 parts per billion (one standard deviation), in which e is the elementary charge. This bound is a factor of 20 less than that determined from the best previous measurement(5) of the antihydrogen charge. The electrical charge of atoms and molecules of normal matter is known(6) to be no greater than about 10(-21)e for a diverse range of species including H-2, He and SF6. Charge-parity-time symmetry and quantum anomaly cancellation(7) demand that the charge of antihydrogen be similarly small. Thus, our measurement constitutes an improved limit and a test of fundamental aspects of the Standard Model. If we assume charge superposition and use the best measured value of the antiproton charge(8), then we can place a new limit on the positron charge anomaly (the relative difference between the positron and elementary charge) of about one part per billion (one standard deviation), a 25-fold reduction compared to the current best measurement(8),(9).

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  • An experimental limit on the charge of antihydrogen

    2014. C. Amole (et al.). Nature Communications 5, 3955


    The properties of antihydrogen are expected to be identical to those of hydrogen, and any differences would constitute a profound challenge to the fundamental theories of physics. The most commonly discussed antiatom- based tests of these theories are searches for antihydrogen- hydrogen spectral differences (tests of CPT (charge- parity- time) invariance) or gravitational differences (tests of the weak equivalence principle). Here we, the ALPHA Collaboration, report a different and somewhat unusual test of CPT and of quantum anomaly cancellation. A retrospective analysis of the influence of electric fields on antihydrogen atoms released from the ALPHA trap finds a mean axial deflection of 4.1 +/- 3.4mm for an average axial electric field of 0.51Vmm1. Combined with extensive numerical modelling, this measurement leads to a bound on the charge Qe of antihydrogen of Q (+/- 1.3 +/- 1.1 +/- 0.4)10 8. Here, e is the unit charge, and the errors are from statistics and systematic effects.

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  • Description and first application of a new technique to measure the gravitational mass of antihydrogen

    2013. A. E. Charman (et al.). Nature Communications 4, 1785


    Physicists have long wondered whether the gravitational interactions between matter and antimatter might be different from those between matter and itself. Although there are many indirect indications that no such differences exist and that the weak equivalence principle holds, there have been no direct, free-fall style, experimental tests of gravity on antimatter. Here we describe a novel direct test methodology; we search for a propensity for anti-hydrogen atoms to fall downward when released from the ALPHA antihydrogen trap. In the absence of systematic errors, we can reject ratios of the gravitational to inertial mass of antihydrogen 475 at a statistical significance level of 5%; worst-case systematic errors increase the minimum rejection ratio to 110. A similar search places somewhat tighter bounds on a negative gravitational mass, that is, on antigravity. This methodology, coupled with ongoing experimental improvements, should allow us to bound the ratio within the more interesting near equivalence regime.

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  • Resonant quantum transitions in trapped antihydrogen atoms

    2012. C. Amole (et al.). Nature 483 (7390), 439-U86


    The hydrogen atom is one of the most important and influential model systems in modern physics. Attempts to understand its spectrum are inextricably linked to the early history and development of quantum mechanics. The hydrogen atom's stature lies in its simplicity and in the accuracy with which its spectrum can be measured(1) and compared to theory. Today its spectrum remains a valuable tool for determining the values of fundamental constants and for challenging the limits of modern physics, including the validity of quantum electrodynamics and-by comparison with measurements on its antimatter counterpart, antihydrogen-the validity of CPT (charge conjugation, parity and time reversal) symmetry. Here we report spectroscopy of a pure antimatter atom, demonstrating resonant quantum transitions in antihydrogen. We have manipulated the internal spin state(2,3) of antihydrogen atoms so as to induce magnetic resonance transitions between hyperfine levels of the positronic ground state. We used resonant microwave radiation to flip the spin of the positron in antihydrogen atoms that were magnetically trapped(4-6) in the ALPHA apparatus. The spin flip causes trapped anti-atoms to be ejected from the trap. We look for evidence of resonant interaction by comparing the survival rate of trapped atoms irradiated with microwaves on-resonance to that of atoms subjected to microwaves that are off-resonance. In one variant of the experiment, we detect 23 atoms that survive in 110 trapping attempts with microwaves off-resonance (0.21 per attempt), and only two atoms that survive in 103 attempts with microwaves on-resonance (0.02 per attempt). We also describe the direct detection of the annihilation of antihydrogen atoms ejected by the microwaves.

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  • Trapped antihydrogen

    2010. G. B. Andresen (et al.). Nature 468 (7324), 673-676


    Antimatter was first predicted1 in 1931, by Dirac. Work with high-energy antiparticles is now commonplace, and anti-electrons are used regularly in the medical technique of positron emission tomography scanning. Antihydrogen, the bound state of an antiproton and a positron, has been produced2, 3 at low energies at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) since 2002. Antihydrogen is of interest for use in a precision test of nature’s fundamental symmetries. The charge conjugation/parity/time reversal (CPT) theorem, a crucial part of the foundation of the standard model of elementary particles and interactions, demands that hydrogen and antihydrogen have the same spectrum. Given the current experimental precision of measurements on the hydrogen atom (about two parts in 1014 for the frequency of the 1s-to-2s transition4), subjecting antihydrogen to rigorous spectroscopic examination would constitute a compelling, model-independent test of CPT. Antihydrogen could also be used to study the gravitational behaviour of antimatter5. However, so far experiments have produced antihydrogen that is not confined, precluding detailed study of its structure. Here we demonstrate trapping of antihydrogen atoms. From the interaction of about 107 antiprotons and 7 × 108 positrons, we observed 38 annihilation events consistent with the controlled release of trapped antihydrogen from our magnetic trap; the measured background is 1.4 ± 1.4 events. This result opens the door to precision measurements on anti-atoms, which can soon be subjected to the same techniques as developed for hydrogen.

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