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 koordinerar examensarbeten på Master-nivå. Jag är också ansvarig för kursen praktik i fysik och har flera gången givit den avancerade kursen i Atomfysik (FK7057).

Sedan 2024-03-01 är jag ämnesansvarig för forskarutbildningarna i fysik, teoretisk fysik, kemist fysik och medicinsk strålningsfysik. 



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, men med olika tekniker. ALPHA var det första experimentet som lyckades hålla fram antiatomer i en magnetisk fälla (2010), och har sen dess gjort ett antal studier av antiväte främst genom olika former av spektroskopi. Vi lyckades också nyligen göra den första mätningen av hur antiväte faller mot jorden, och kunde då utesluta en del exotiska teorier som förutsa att antimateria skulle falla uppåt. GBAR har just påbörjats, men kommer att mäta gravitationskraften på antiväte. Iställer för att använda antiväte fångat i en magnetfälla kommer GBAR att skapa antiväte-joner (2 antielektroner och en antiproton).

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

  • Multichannel hyperspherical model for Efimov physics with van der Waals interactions controlled by a Feshbach resonance

    2023. Kajsa-My Tempest, Svante Jonsell. Physical Review A: covering atomic, molecular, and optical physics and quantum information 107 (5)


    Here we present a four-channel model that incorporates a magnetically tunable Feshbach resonance in a system of three atoms that interact via pairwise van der Waals interactions. Our method is designed to model recent experiments where the tunability of the scattering length has been used to study three-body Efimov states, which appear in the limit of a diverging two-body scattering length. Using this model, we calculate three-body adiabatic and effective potential curves and study how the strength (or width) of the Feshbach resonance affects the three-body effective hyperradial potential that is connected to the Efimov effect. We find that the position of the repulsive barrier, which has been used to explain the so-called van der Waals universality in broad resonances, is slightly shifted as the narrow-resonance limit is approached and that this shift is correlated to the appearance of two avoided crossings in the adiabatic energy landscape. More importantly, the attractive well is markedly shifted upward in energy and is extremely shallow for the narrowest resonance. We argue that this behavior is connected to the breakdown of van der Waals universality for weak (narrow) resonances.

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  • Observation of the effect of gravity on the motion of antimatter

    2023. E. K. Anderson (et al.). Nature 621 (7980), 716-722


    Einstein’s general theory of relativity from 1915 remains the most successful description of gravitation. From the 1919 solar eclipse to the observation of gravitational waves, the theory has passed many crucial experimental tests. However, the evolving concepts of dark matter and dark energy illustrate that there is much to be learned about the gravitating content of the universe. Singularities in the general theory of relativity and the lack of a quantum theory of gravity suggest that our picture is incomplete. It is thus prudent to explore gravity in exotic physical systems. Antimatter was unknown to Einstein in 1915. Dirac’s theory appeared in 1928; the positron was observed in 1932. There has since been much speculation about gravity and antimatter. The theoretical consensus is that any laboratory mass must be attracted by the Earth, although some authors have considered the cosmological consequences if antimatter should be repelled by matter. In the general theory of relativity, the weak equivalence principle (WEP) requires that all masses react identically to gravity, independent of their internal structure. Here we show that antihydrogen atoms, released from magnetic confinement in the ALPHA-g apparatus, behave in a way consistent with gravitational attraction to the Earth. Repulsive ‘antigravity’ is ruled out in this case. This experiment paves the way for precision studies of the magnitude of the gravitational acceleration between anti-atoms and the Earth to test the WEP.

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  • Production of antihydrogen atoms by 6 keV antiprotons through a positronium cloud

    2023. P. Adrich (et al.). European Physical Journal C 83 (11)


    We report on the first production of an antihydrogen beam by charge exchange of 6.1 keV antiprotons with a cloud of positronium in the GBAR experiment at CERN. The 100 keV antiproton beam delivered by the AD/ELENA facility was further decelerated with a pulsed drift tube. A 9 MeV electron beam from a linear accelerator produced a low energy positron beam. The positrons were accumulated in a set of two Penning-Malmberg traps. The positronium target cloud resulted from the conversion of the positrons extracted from the traps. The antiproton beam was steered onto this positronium cloud to produce the antiatoms. We observe an excess over background indicating antihydrogen production with a significance of 3-4 standard deviations.

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  • Laser cooling of antihydrogen atoms

    2021. C. J. Baker (et al.). Nature 592 (7852), 35-42


    The photon-the quantum excitation of the electromagnetic field-is massless but carries momentum. A photon can therefore exert a force on an object upon collision(1). Slowing the translational motion of atoms and ions by application of such a force(2,3), known as laser cooling, was first demonstrated 40 years ago(4,5). It revolutionized atomic physics over the following decades(6-8), and it is now a workhorse in many fields, including studies on quantum degenerate gases, quantum information, atomic clocks and tests of fundamental physics. However, this technique has not yet been applied to antimatter. Here we demonstrate laser cooling of antihydrogen(9), the antimatter atom consisting of an antiproton and a positron. By exciting the 1S-2P transition in antihydrogen with pulsed, narrow-linewidth, Lyman-alpha laser radiation(10,11), we Doppler-cool a sample of magnetically trapped antihydrogen. Although we apply laser cooling in only one dimension, the trap couples the longitudinal and transverse motions of the anti-atoms, leading to cooling in all three dimensions. We observe a reduction in the median transverse energy by more than an order of magnitude-with a substantial fraction of the anti-atoms attaining submicroelectronvolt transverse kinetic energies. We also report the observation of the laser-driven 1S-2S transition in samples of laser-cooled antihydrogen atoms. The observed spectral line is approximately four times narrower than that obtained without laser cooling. The demonstration of laser cooling and its immediate application has far-reaching implications for antimatter studies. A more localized, denser and colder sample of antihydrogen will drastically improve spectroscopic(11-13) and gravitational(14) studies of antihydrogen in ongoing experiments. Furthermore, the demonstrated ability to manipulate the motion of antimatter atoms by laser light will potentially provide ground-breaking opportunities for future experiments, such as anti-atomic fountains, anti-atom interferometry and the creation of antimatter molecules.

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  • Near-threshold production of antihydrogen positive ion in positronium-antihydrogen collision

    2021. Takuma Yamashita (et al.). New Journal of Physics 23 (1)


    Near-threshold production of antihydrogen ion (H+) in positronium-antihydrogen collisions is predicted by a rigorous four-body scattering calculation. The convergence of the cross sections for the rearrangement and for all competing reactions (elastic scattering, de/excitation and de/polarization of positronium) is carefully examined against partial waves. The multi-channel scattering solutions are composed of functions that diagonalize the four-body Hamiltonian, and scattering functions that satisfy the correct asymptotic boundary conditions. The production rates of H+ show large discrepancies compared to more approximate calculations.

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  • Investigation of the fine structure of antihydrogen

    2020. M. Ahmadi (et al.). Nature 578 (7795), 375-380


    At the historic Shelter Island Conference on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics in 1947, Willis Lamb reported an unexpected feature in the fine structure of atomic hydrogen: a separation of the 2S(1/2) and 2P(1/2) states(1). The observation of this separation, now known as the Lamb shift, marked an important event in the evolution of modern physics, inspiring others to develop the theory of quantum electrodynamics(2-5). Quantum electrodynamics also describes antimatter, but it has only recently become possible to synthesize and trap atomic antimatter to probe its structure. Mirroring the historical development of quantum atomic physics in the twentieth century, modern measurements on anti-atoms represent a unique approach for testing quantum electrodynamics and the foundational symmetries of the standard model. Here we report measurements of the fine structure in the n = 2 states of antihydrogen, the antimatter counterpart of the hydrogen atom. Using optical excitation of the 1S-2P Lyman-alpha transitions in antihydrogen(6), we determine their frequencies in a magnetic field of 1 tesla to a precision of 16 parts per billion. Assuming the standard Zeeman and hyperfine interactions, we infer the zero-field fine-structure splitting (2P(1/2)-2P(3/2)) in antihydrogen. The resulting value is consistent with the predictions of quantum electrodynamics to a precision of 2 per cent. Using our previously measured value of the 1S-2S transition frequency(6,7), we find that the classic Lamb shift in antihydrogen (2S(1/2)-2P(1/2) splitting at zero field) is consistent with theory at a level of 11 per cent. Our observations represent an important step towards precision measurements of the fine structure and the Lamb shift in the antihydrogen spectrum as tests of the charge-parity-time symmetry(8) and towards the determination of other fundamental quantities, such as the antiproton charge radius(9,10), in this antimatter system. Precision measurements of the 1S-2P transition in antihydrogen that take into account the standard Zeeman and hyperfine effects confirm the predictions of quantum electrodynamics.

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  • Characterization of the 1S-2S transition in antihydrogen

    2018. M. Ahmadi (et al.). Nature 557 (7703), 71-+


    In 1928, Dirac published an equation(1) that combined quantum mechanics and special relativity. Negative-energy solutions to this equation, rather than being unphysical as initially thought, represented a class of hitherto unobserved and unimagined particles-antimatter. The existence of particles of antimatter was confirmed with the discovery of the positron(2) (or anti-electron) by Anderson in 1932, but it is still unknown why matter, rather than antimatter, survived after the Big Bang. As a result, experimental studies of antimatter(3-7), including tests of fundamental symmetries such as charge-parity and charge-parity-time, and searches for evidence of primordial antimatter, such as antihelium nuclei, have high priority in contemporary physics research. The fundamental role of the hydrogen atom in the evolution of the Universe and in the historical development of our understanding of quantum physics makes its antimatter counterpart-the antihydrogen atom-of particular interest. Current standard-model physics requires that hydrogen and antihydrogen have the same energy levels and spectral lines. The laser-driven 1S-2S transition was recently observed(8) in antihydrogen. Here we characterize one of the hyperfine components of this transition using magnetically trapped atoms of antihydrogen and compare it to model calculations for hydrogen in our apparatus. We find that the shape of the spectral line agrees very well with that expected for hydrogen and that the resonance frequency agrees with that in hydrogen to about 5 kilohertz out of 2.5 x 10(15) hertz. This is consistent with charge-parity-time invariance at a relative precision of 2 x 10(-12)-two orders of magnitude more precise than the previous determination(8)-corresponding to an absolute energy sensitivity of 2 x 10(-20) GeV.

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  • Antihydrogen trapping assisted by sympathetically cooled positrons

    2014. N. Madsen, F. Robicheaux, Svante Jonsell. New Journal of Physics 16, 063046


    Antihydrogen, the bound state of an antiproton and a positron, is of interest for use in precision tests of nature ' s fundamental symmetries. Antihydrogen formed by carefully merging cold plasmas of positrons and antiprotons has recently been trapped in magnetic traps. The efficiency of trapping is strongly dependent on the temperature of the nascent antihydrogen, which, to be trapped, must have a kinetic energy less than the trap depth of similar to 0.5 K k(B). In the conditions in the ALPHA experiment, the antihydrogen temperature seems dominated by the temperature of the positron plasma used for the synthesis. Cold positrons are therefore of paramount interest in that experiment. In this paper, we propose an alternative route to make ultra-cold positrons for enhanced antihydrogen trapping. We investigate theoretically how to extend previously successful sympathetic cooling of positrons by laser-cooled positive ions to be used for antihydrogen trapping. Using simulations, we investigate the effectiveness of such cooling in conditions similar to those in ALPHA, and discuss how the formation process and the nascent antihydrogen may be influenced by the presence of positive ions. We argue that this technique is a viable alternative to methods such as evaporative and adiabatic cooling, and may overcome limitations faced by these. Ultra-cold positrons, once available, may also be of interest for a range of other applications.

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  • Helium-antihydrogen scattering at low energies

    2012. Svante Jonsell (et al.). New Journal of Physics 14, 035013


    We calculate cross sections for helium-antihydrogen scattering for energies up to 0.01 atomic unit. Our calculation includes elastic scattering, direct antiproton-alpha particle annihilation and rearrangement into He(+)p(-) and ground-state positronium. Elastic scattering is calculated within the Born-Oppenheimer approximation using the potential calculated by Strasburger et al (2005 J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 38 3091). Matrix elements for rearrangement are calculated using the T-matrix in the distorted wave approximation, with the initial state represented by Hylleraas-type functions. The strong force, leading to direct annihilation, was included as a short-range boundary condition in terms of the strong-force scattering length.

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  • Confinement of antihydrogen for 1,000 seconds

    2011. G. B. Andresen (et al.). Nature Physics 7 (7), 558-564


    Atoms made of a particle and an antiparticle are unstable, usually surviving less than a microsecond. Antihydrogen, made entirely of antiparticles, is believed to be stable, and it is this longevity that holds the promise of precision studies of matter-antimatter symmetry. We have recently demonstrated trapping of antihydrogen atoms by releasing them after a confinement time of 172 ms. A critical question for future studies is: how long can anti-atoms be trapped? Here, we report the observation of anti-atom confinement for 1,000 s, extending our earlier results by nearly four orders of magnitude. Our calculations indicate that most of the trapped anti-atoms reach the ground state. Further, we report the first measurement of the energy distribution of trapped antihydrogen, which, coupled with detailed comparisons with simulations, provides a key tool for the systematic investigation of trapping dynamics. These advances open up a range of experimental possibilities, including precision studies of charge-parity-time reversal symmetry and cooling to temperatures where gravitational effects could become apparent.

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