Physics and Astronomy
Patel, Sahil (School: Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science)
The gravitational behavior of antimatter has never been conclusively determined through experimentation and thereby has long remained elusive to the field of physics. Various experiments have been proposed to ascertain such, yet they are all critically limited in their extent of experimental feasibility. Therefore, the objective of the research was to design and simulate a novel antihydrogen gravity experiment that would determine the directionality of the gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen and further exhibit significant potential for feasible experimentation. In particular, the hypothesized configuration of the experimental apparatus consisted of a point antihydrogen source confined within a cylindrical vacuum chamber and located at the common vertex of an azimuthally symmetric series of concentric detection cones. Moreover, the Monte Carlo method was utilized in the simulation of the antihydrogen gravity experiment, the associated computational algorithm involving the definition and declaration of parameters, random generation of antiatoms, and evaluation of annihilation detection. An optimization of the experimentally adjustable parameters was additionally conducted followed by a suite of statistical, graphical, and parametric analyses. In conclusion, it was found that the novel concentric cone antihydrogen gravity experiment demonstrates exceptional promise of experimental feasibility and thus may lead to the first direct test of the gravitation of antimatter, the results of which could have far-reaching implications and ultimately revolutionize our understanding of the universe itself.