The universe should not exist—not according to our present understanding of physics, at least. This mystery is related in part to ‘anti-matter,’ the elusive counterpart to everyday matter that theory dictates should have been created in equal measure during the Big Bang, but that has since disappeared from the universe. This lecture for a general audience introduces anti-matter and the basic questions associated with it. Does it shine in the same colour as matter? Does it fall up instead of down? Makoto Fujiwara will also explain how such questions are addressed by the ALPHA project, an experiment located at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland and designed to enable us to synthesize, isolate and confine atoms made of anti-matter in a small ‘bottle,’ so that we can study their properties with extraordinary precision. The Richard V. Ericson Lecture honours the memory of the Founding Principal of Green College.
Dr. Makoto Fujiwara obtained his Ph.D. at UBC in 1999, living at Green College in 1995 - 1997. Dr. Fujiwara has been working on antimatter physics since the beginning of the Antiproton Decelerator facility at CERN. From 1999 to 2004, he worked on the ATHENA project as a postdoctoral fellow with University of Tokyo and RIKEN. He helped demonstrate the first production of cold antihydrogen atoms, work for which he was awarded an Outstanding Young Scientist Prize by the Japanese Nuclear Physics Forum in 2003. Upon returning to TRIUMF as a research scientist in 2004, he initiated Canadian involvement in the ALPHA antihydrogen experiment. The Canadian group led by Dr. Fujiwara has grown to be one of the most active groups in the international project. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist at TRIUMF. He has served as Head of Particle Physics Department (2015 - 2018), and as Deputy Associate Laboratory Director, Physical Sciences (2016 - 2018) at TRIUMF. Dr. Fujiwara is a Fellow of American Physical Society, and a recipient of 2011 APS John Dawson Award for demonstration of trapping of antihydrogen, and of 2013 NSERC John C. Polanyi Award for an outstanding advance in the natural sciences or engineering.