I am an experimental atomic physicist, with interests in positrons, positronium and antihydrogen. I have made contributions to many aspects of the development of physics with low energy positrons and helped to establish positronium beam physics. Since the mid-1980’s I have pioneered the field of antihydrogen physics. I was a founder member of the ATHENA collaboration that first produced cold antihydrogen and later of the ALPHA collaboration. ALPHA was the first to demonstrate trapping of antihydrogen in a neutral atom trap and to observe a resonant quantum transition in the anti-atom. I am looking forward to upcoming era of precision physics with atomic antimatter.


AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Antihydrogen physics, positron and positronium physics, positron beams and accumulation and manipulation devices. Low energy charged particle and gamma-ray detection techniques.

Publications

  1. & Cold neutral atoms via charge exchange from excited state positronium: a proposal. New Journal of Physics 19(5), 053020
  2. & Low-energy l-mixing collisions of excited positronium with protons and antiprotons. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 50(13), 134001
  3. & An improved limit on the charge of antihydrogen from stochastic acceleration. Nature 529, 373-376.
  4. & Calculation of antihydrogen formation via antiproton scattering with excited positronium. Physical Review A 93(1)
  5. & The role of antihydrogen formation in the radial transport of antiprotons in positron plasmas. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 49(13), 134004

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Teaching

  • PH-112 Physics of Fields and Matter

    The module will first introduce static electric and magnetic fields, in principle as two separated subjects, before electromagnetic force is introduced to describe the force on particles due to electromagnetic fields. Basic electrical circuits will be introduced. This module proceeds by introducing the key fundamentals of kinetic theory, thermodynamics and the structure of matter.

Supervision

  • 'Efficient Excitiation of Rhydberg Positronium' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Aled Isaac
  • An investigation into positron accumulation rates using various buffer gases (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Aled Isaac
  • Non-destructive diagnostics of non-neutral plasmas. (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Aled Isaac
  • 'Laser-ablated Beryllium Ions for Cold Antihydrogen in ALPHA' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Niels Madsen
    Other supervisor: Prof Dirk Van Der Werf
  • Observation of the 1s-2s Transition in Trapped Antihydrogen (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stefan Eriksson
  • Feedback control of levitated optomechanics for nanoscale thermodynamics (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr James Bateman
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Dirk Van Der Werf
  • A light-matter quantum interface using cold atoms near tapered optical nanofibres (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stefan Eriksson
  • Experiments with excited state positronium. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Aled Isaac

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2012 Present Head of the Department Department of Physics, Swansea University
2007 2012 EPSRC Senior Research Fellow Department of Physics, Swansea University
2005 2007 Head of the School of Physical Sciences University of Wales Swansea
2001 2007 Head of the Department Department of Physics, University of Wales Swansea
1999 Present Professor of Physics Department of Physics, University of Wales Swansea
1991 1999 Reader in Physics Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCL
1983 1991 Royal Society 1983 University Research Fellow Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCL
1982 1983 SERC Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCL
1980 1982 Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCL

Honours and Awards

  • 2014 - Elected to the Council of the Learned Society of Wales
  • 2011 - Co-recipient (with 10 colleagues from the ALPHA Collaboration) of the 2011 American Physical Society James Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research. Citation: “For the introduction and use of innovative plasma techniques which produced the first demonstration of the trapping of antihydrogen.”
  • 2011 - Elected as an Inaugural Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales
  • 2010 - ALPHA’s work on Trapped Antihydrogen selected by Physics World as 2010 physics highlight of the year
  • 2007 - Awarded EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship
  • 2005 - Antihydrogen work selected as an EPSRC highlight from their first 10 years
  • 2004 - Elected to Fellowship of the Institute of Physics
  • 1996 - Antihydrogen project selected as an EPSRC highlight
  • 1988 - Positronium beam work selected as a SERC highlight
  • 1983 - Awarded Royal Society University Research Fellowship
  • 1982 - Awarded SERC Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 1980 - Awarded Carey Foster Research Prize, UCL
  • 1978 - Awarded Momber Scholarship, UCL

Selected Publications

Below I give a selection of some my most important work over the years, along with some of my major reviews and some pedagogical and popular articles.

ANTIHYDROGEN

  • An experimental limit on the charge of antihydrogen, C. Amole and the ALPHA Collaboration, Nature Comm. 5 (2014) 3955
  • Description and first application of a new technique to measure the gravitational mass of antihydrogen, C. Amole and the ALPHA Collaboration, Nature Comm. 4 (2013) 1875
  • Resonant quantum transitions in trapped antihydrogen atoms, C. Amole and the ALPHA Collaboration, Nature 483 (2012) 439
  • Confinement of antihydrogen for 1,000 seconds, G.B. Andresen and the ALPHA Collaboration, Nature Phys. 7 (2011) 558
  • Trapped antihydrogen, G.B. Andresen and the ALPHA Collaboration, Nature 468 (2010) 673
  • Temporally controlled modulation of antihydrogen production and the temperature scaling of antiproton-positron recombination, M.C. Fujiwara and the ATHENA Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Letts 101 (2008) 053401
  • Compression of antiproton clouds for antihydrogen trapping, G.B. Andresen and the ALPHA Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Letts 100 (2008) 203401
  • Antimatter plasmas in a multipole trap for antihydrogen, G. Andresen and the ALPHA Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Letts 98 (2007) 023402
  • Spatial distribution of cold antihydrogen formation, N. Madsen and the ATHENA Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Letts 94 (2005) 033403
  • Dynamics of antiproton cooling in a positron plasma during antihydrogen formation, M. Amoretti and the ATHENA Collaboration, Phys. Letts. B 590 (2004) 133
  • Production and detection of cold antihydrogen atoms, M. Amoretti and the ATHENA Collaboration, Nature 419 (2002) 456
  • Hydrogen formation by proton impact on positronium, J.P. Merrison, H. Bluhme, J. Chevallier, B.I. Deutch, P. Hvelplund, L.V. Jørgensen, H. Knudsen, M.R. Poulsen and M. Charlton, Phys. Rev. Letts 78 (1997) 2728
  • Stored positrons for antihydrogen production, C.M. Surko, R.G. Greaves and M. Charlton, Hyperfine Interactions 109 (1997) 181
  • Antihydrogen synthesis by the reaction of antiprotons with excited state positronium atoms, B.I. Deutch, M. Charlton, M.H. Holzscheiter, P. Hvelplund, L.V. Jørgensen, H. Knudsen, G. Laricchia, J. Merrison and M.R. Poulsen, Hyperfine Interactions 76 (1993) 153
  • Antihydrogen production in collisions of antiprotons with excited states of positronium, M. Charlton, Phys. Lett. A 143 (1990) 143
  • Antihydrogen, M. Charlton, in: Positron Annihilation, eds. L. DorikensVanpraet, M. Dorikens and D. Segers (World Scientific, Singapore, 1988) 181
  • On antihydrogen formation in collisions of antiprotons with positronium, J.W. Humberston, M. Charlton, F.M. Jacobsen and B.I. Deutch, J. Phys. B 20 (1987) L25

POSITRONS, POSITRONIUM AND ANTIPROTONS

  • Directed fluxes of positronium using pulsed travelling optical lattices, P.F. Barker and M. Charlton, New J. Phys. 14 (2012) 045005
  • Compression of positron clouds in the independent particle regime, C.A. Isaac, C.J. Baker, T. Mortensen, D.P. van der Werf and M. Charlton, Phys. Rev. Letts 107 (2011) 033201
  • Autoresonant excitation of antiproton plasmas, G.B. Andresen and the ALPHA Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Letts 106 (2011) 025002
  • Target structure induced suppression of the ionization cross section for very low energy antiproton-hydrogen collisions, H. Knudsen and M. Charlton and 13 others, Phys. Rev. Letts 105 (2010) 213001
  • Evaporative cooling of antiprotons to cryogenic temperatures, G.B. Andresen and the ALPHA Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Letts 105 (2010) 013003
  • Evidence for the production of slow antiprotonic hydrogen in vacuum, N. Zurlo and the ATHENA Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Letts 97 (2006) 153401
  • Design and operation of a two-stage positron accumulator, J. Clarke, D.P.van der Werf, B. Griffiths, D.C.S. Beddows, M. Charlton, H.H. Telle and P.R. Watkeys, Rev. Sci. Inst. 77 (2006) 063302
  • New source of dense, cryogenic positron plasmas, L.V. Jørgensen and the ATHENA Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Letts 95 (2005) 025002
  • Positronium-argon scattering, N. Zafar, G. Laricchia, M. Charlton and A. Garner, Phys. Rev. Letts 76 (1996) 1595
  • Ionization of atomic hydrogen by 30-1000 keV antiprotons, H. Knudsen, K. Paludan, U. Mikkelsen, K. Kirsebom, S.P. Møller, E. Uggerhøj, J. Slevin, M. Charlton and E. Morenzoni, Phys. Rev. Letts 74 (1995) 4627
  • Positron impact ionization of atomic hydrogen, G.O. Jones, M. Charlton, J. Slevin, G. Laricchia, A. Kövér, M.R. Poulsen and S.N. Chormaic, J. Phys. B 26 (1993) L483
  • Field assisted positron moderation by surface charging of rare gas solids, J.P. Merrison, M. Charlton, B.I. Deutch and L.V. Jørgensen, J. Phys. Condens. Matter 4 (1992) L207
  • Double ionisation of noble gases by positron and electron impact, M. Charlton, L. BrunNielsen, B.I. Deutch, P. Hvelplund, F.M. Jacobsen, H. Knudsen, G. Laricchia and M.R. Poulsen, J. Phys. B 22 (1989) 2779
  • Positron and electronimpact double ionisation of helium, M. Charlton, L.H. Andersen, L. BrunNielsen, B.I. Deutch, P. Hvelplund, F.M. Jacobsen, H. Knudsen, G. Laricchia, M.R. Poulsen and J.O. Pedersen, J. Phys. B 21 (1988) L545
  • The production of collimated beams of oPs using charge exchange in positrongas collisions, G. Laricchia, M. Charlton, S.A. Davies, C.D. Beling and T.C. Griffith, J. Phys. B 20 (1987) L99
  • Excitedstate positronium formation in lowdensity gases, G. Laricchia, M. Charlton, G. Clark and T.C. Griffith, Phys. Lett. A 109 (1985) 97

BOOK AND MAJOR REVIEWS

  • Positron Physics, M. Charlton and J.W. Humberston (2000) Cambridge University Press pp454
  • The route to ultra-low energy antihydrogen, M.H. Holzscheiter, M. Charlton and M.M. Nieto, Phys. Rep. 402 (2004) 1-101
  • Ultra-low energy antihydrogen, M. Charlton and M.H. Holzscheiter, Rep. Prog. Phys. 62 (1999) 1-60
  • Antihydrogen physics, M. Charlton, J. Eades, D. Horváth, R.J. Hughes and C. Zimmermann, Phys. Rep. 241 (1994) 65-117
  • Experimental studies of positrons scattering in gases, M. Charlton, Rep. Prog. Phys. 48 (1985) 737-793

PEDAGOGICAL AND POPULAR WORKS

  • Antihydrogen in a bottle, M. Charlton, S. Eriksson, C.A. Isaac, N. Madsen and D.P. van der Werf, Physics Education 48 (2013) 212
  • (See also: in Danish, Antibrint på flaske, N. Madsen, M. Charlton, S. Eriksson, C.A. Isaac and D.P. van der Werf, LMFK-bladet (2013) 30 and in Welsh, Grwth-hydrogen mewn potel, C.A. Isaac M. Charlton, S. Eriksson, N. Madsen, and D.P. van der Werf, at http://iopscience.iop.org/0031-9120/48/2/212/media)
  • Antihydrogen for precision tests in physics, M. Charlton, S. Jonsell, L.V. Jørgensen, N. Madsen and D.P. van der Werf, Cont. Phys. 49 (2008) 29
  • Antihydrogen on tap, M. Charlton, Physics Education 40 (2005) 229
  • Probing the antiworld, M. Charlton and J.S. Hangst, Physics World October 2005 22-27
  • Low-energy positron beams - origins, developments and applications, C.D. Beling and M. Charlton, Cont. Phys. 28 (1987) 241-266

Outreach

I have undertaken significant outreach over the years. Recent prominent examples include:

CERN Open Weekend (2 talks), September 2013: “Antimatter” (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAk-9e5KQYEp1K0f5IA_6TqiwYlmedO2o)

Times Cheltenham Science Festival, June 2013: “Particle Physics: An Introduction” co-presented with Dr Tom Whyntie

AAAS Meeting, Boston, USA, February 2013: “Resonant Quantum Transitions in Trapped Antihydrogen

Cardiff Science Festival, July 2012: “Does Antimatter Matter

IOP Irish Tour (UC Cork, NUI Galway, Dublin City University), March 2010: “Antimatter- From Imagination to Application – and Back