A 16-parts-per-trillion measurement of the antiproton-to-proton charge–mass ratio

authored by
M. J. Borchert, J. A. Devlin, S. R. Erlewein, M. Fleck, J. A. Harrington, T. Higuchi, B. M. Latacz, F. Voelksen, E. J. Wursten, F. Abbass, M. A. Bohman, A. H. Mooser, D. Popper, M. Wiesinger, C. Will, K. Blaum, Y. Matsuda, C. Ospelkaus, W. Quint, J. Walz, Y. Yamazaki, C. Smorra, S. Ulmer

The standard model of particle physics is both incredibly successful and glaringly incomplete. Among the questions left open is the striking imbalance of matter and antimatter in the observable universe1, which inspires experiments to compare the fundamental properties of matter/antimatter conjugates with high precision2–5. Our experiments deal with direct investigations of the fundamental properties of protons and antiprotons, performing spectroscopy in advanced cryogenic Penning trap systems6. For instance, we previously compared the proton/antiproton magnetic moments with 1.5 parts per billion fractional precision7,8, which improved upon previous best measurements9 by a factor of greater than 3,000. Here we report on a new comparison of the proton/antiproton charge-to-mass ratios with a fractional uncertainty of 16 parts per trillion. Our result is based on the combination of four independent long-term studies, recorded in a total time span of 1.5 years. We use different measurement methods and experimental set-ups incorporating different systematic effects. The final result, − (q/ m) p/ (q/ m) = 1.000000000003 (16) , is consistent with the fundamental charge–parity–time reversal invariance, and improves the precision of our previous best measurement6 by a factor of 4.3. The measurement tests the standard model at an energy scale of 1.96 × 10−27 gigaelectronvolts (confidence level 0.68), and improves ten coefficients of the standard model extension10. Our cyclotron clock study also constrains hypothetical interactions mediating violations of the clock weak equivalence principle (WEPcc) for antimatter to less than 1.8 × 10−7, and enables the first differential test of the WEPcc using antiprotons11. From this interpretation we constrain the differential WEPcc-violating coefficient to less than 0.030.

Institute of Quantum Optics
CRC 1227 Designed Quantum States of Matter (DQ-mat)
External Organisation(s)
Ulmer Fundamental Symmetries Laboratory
National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB)
Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
University of Tokyo
GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
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Peer reviewed
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Electronic version(s)
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04203-w (Access: Closed)