Gerald Gabrielse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gerald Gabrielse
Nationality American
Alma mater Calvin College (B.S.)
University of Chicago (Ph.D.)
Known for antimatter, precision measurement
Awards Davisson-Germer Prize (2002)
George Ledlie Prize (2004)
Inducted into the National Academy of Sciences (2007)
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize (2011)
Trotter Prize (2014)
Scientific career
Fields Physics
Institutions University of Washington
Harvard University
Doctoral advisor Henry Gordon Berry
Other academic advisors Hans Dehmelt (postdoc)

Gerald Gabrielse is an American physicist. He is George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard University, incoming Board of Trustees Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Fundamental Physics at Low Energy at Northwestern University. He is primarily known for his experiments trapping and investigating antimatter, measuring the electron g-factor,[1] and measuring the electron electric dipole moment.[2] He has been described as "a leader in super-precise measurements of fundamental particles and the study of anti-matter."[3]


Gabrielse attended Trinity Christian College and then Calvin College, graduating with a B.S. (honors) in 1973. He then completed his M.S. (1975) and Ph.D. (1980) in physics from the University of Chicago under Henry Gordon Berry. Gabrielse became a postdoc at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1978 under Hans Dehmelt,[4] and joined the faculty in 1985. He became Professor of Physics at Harvard University in 1987, and the chair of the Harvard Physics Department in 2000. He is currently the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard.

In November 2015, it was announced that the Gabrielse group would be moving to Northwestern University in 2017 as part of the newly created Center for Fundamental Physics at Low Energy. Gabrielse will be the first Director of the center.[5]


Antimatter research[edit]

Gabrielse was a pioneer in the field of low energy antiproton and antihydrogen physics by proposing the trapping of antiprotons from a storage ring, cooling them in collisions with trapped electrons,[6] and the use of these to form low energy antihydrogen atoms.[7] He led the TRAP team that realized the first antiproton trapping,[8] the first electron cooling of trapped antiprotons, and the accumulation of antiprotons in a 4 Kelvin apparatus.[9] The demonstrations and methods made possible an effort that grew to involve 4 international collaborations of physicists working at CERN's Antiproton Decelerator. In 1999, Gabrielse's TRAP team made the most precise test of the Standard Model's fundamental CPT theorem by comparing the charge-to-mass ratio of a single trapped antiproton with that of a proton to a precision of 9 parts in 1011.[10] The precision of the resulting confirmation of the Standard Model prediction exceeded that of earlier comparisons by nearly a factor of 106.

Gabrielse now leads the ATRAP team at CERN, one of the two teams that first produced slow antihydrogen atoms and suspended them in a magnetic trap.[11][12] Both TRAP and ATRAP teams used trapped antiprotons within a nested Penning trap device to produce antihydrogen atoms slow enough to be trapped in a magnetic trap. The team made the first one-particle comparison of the magnetic moments of a single proton and a single antiproton.[13][14] Their comparison, to a precision of 5 parts per million, was 680 times more precision than previous measurements.[15]

Precision measurement[edit]

In 2006, Gabrielse's group used a single trapped electron to measure the electron magnetic moment to 0.76 parts per trillion,[16] which was 15 times more precise than a measurement that had stood for about 20 years.[17] Two years later, the team improved the measurement uncertainty by a further factor of 3.[1]

In 2014, Gabrielse, as part of the ACME collaboration with John Doyle at Harvard and David DeMille at Yale, measured the electron electric dipole moment to over an order of magnitude over the previous measurement using a beam of thorium monoxide,[18] a result which had implications for the viability of supersymmetry.[19]

Other research contributions[edit]

Gabrielse was also one of the discoverers of the Brown-Gabrielse invariance theorem,[20] relating the free space cyclotron frequency to the measureable eigenfrequencies of an imperfect Penning trap. The theorem's applications include precise measurements of magnetic moments and precise mass spectrometry.[21] It also makes sideband mass spectrometry possible, a standard tool of nuclear physics.[22]

Gabrielse has also invented a self-shielding superconducting solenoid that uses flux conservation and a carefully chosen geometry of coupled coils to cancel strong field fluctuations due to external sources. The device was responsible for the success of the precise comparison of antiproton and proton, and also enables magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems to locate changing magnetic fields from external sources, such as elevators.[23]

Religious views[edit]

Gabrielse identifies himself as a scientist who is Reformed Christian. In an interview, he said:

I do not believe that science and the Bible are in conflict. However, it is possible to misunderstand the Bible and to misunderstand science. It is important to figure out what of each might be misunderstood.[24]

He has also delivered lectures on the relation between science and religion. In 2006 Gabrielse delivered a lecture titled "God of Antimatter" in the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion in Emmanuel College, Cambridge, discussing his research into antimatter as well as his personal experience with Christianity.[25] He was awarded the Trotter Prize in 2013 and gave the Trotter Lecture for that year.[26]


  • On an episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien that aired on February 21, 2007, Jim Carrey and Conan O'Brien humorously discussed content from a paper entitled, "Stochastic Phase-Switching of a Parametrically-Driven Electron in a Penning Trap"[27] Gerald Gabrielse said that it was 'perhaps the most obscure paper I've ever written'.[28]
  • Working at CERN, Gabrielse trapped the first antiprotons in 1986. Dan Brown's subsequent novel Angels & Demons, and the movie made from it, use antimatter trapped at CERN as an important plot point.



  1. ^ a b Hanneke, D.; Fogwell, S.; Gabrielse, G. (2008-03-26). "New Measurement of the Electron Magnetic Moment and the Fine Structure Constant". Physical Review Letters. 100 (12): 120801. arXiv:0801.1134Freely accessible. Bibcode:2008PhRvL.100l0801H. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.120801. PMID 18517850. 
  2. ^ The ACME Collaboration; Baron, J.; Campbell, W. C.; DeMille, D.; Doyle, J. M.; Gabrielse, G.; Gurevich, Y. V.; Hess, P. W.; Hutzler, N. R. (2014-01-17). "Order of Magnitude Smaller Limit on the Electric Dipole Moment of the Electron". Science. 343 (6168): 269–272. arXiv:1310.7534Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014Sci...343..269B. doi:10.1126/science.1248213. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 24356114. 
  3. ^ "Renowned Physicist Gerald Gabrielse To Join Northwestern: Northwestern University News". Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  4. ^ "Hans G. Dehmelt - Biographical". Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  5. ^ "Renowned Physicist Gerald Gabrielse To Join Northwestern: Northwestern University News". Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  6. ^ Gabrielse, G.; Fei, X.; Orozco, L. A.; Tjoelker, R. L.; Haas, J.; Kalinowsky, H.; Trainor, T. A.; Kells, W. (1989-09-25). "Cooling and slowing of trapped antiprotons below 100 meV". Physical Review Letters. 63 (13): 1360–1363. Bibcode:1989PhRvL..63.1360G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.63.1360. PMID 10040547. 
  7. ^ Gabrielse, G. "Erice Proposal" (PDF). 
  8. ^ Gabrielse, G.; Fei, X.; Helmerson, K.; Rolston, S. L.; Tjoelker, R.; Trainor, T. A.; Kalinowsky, H.; Haas, J.; Kells, W. (1986-11-17). "First Capture of Antiprotons in a Penning Trap: A Kiloelectronvolt Source". Physical Review Letters. 57 (20): 2504–2507. Bibcode:1986PhRvL..57.2504G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.57.2504. PMID 10033784. 
  9. ^ Gabrielse, G. (December 1992). "Extremely Cold Antiprotons". Scientific American: 78. 
  10. ^ Gabrielse, G.; Khabbaz, A.; Hall, D. S.; Heimann, C.; Kalinowsky, H.; Jhe, W. (1999-04-19). "Precision Mass Spectroscopy of the Antiproton and Proton Using Simultaneously Trapped Particles". Physical Review Letters. 82 (16): 3198–3201. Bibcode:1999PhRvL..82.3198G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.82.3198. 
  11. ^ Gabrielse, G.; Bowden, N. S.; Oxley, P.; Speck, A.; Storry, C. H.; Tan, J. N.; Wessels, M.; Grzonka, D. (2002-10-31). "Background-Free Observation of Cold Antihydrogen with Field-Ionization Analysis of Its States". Physical Review Letters. 89 (21): 213401. Bibcode:2002PhRvL..89u3401G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.213401. PMID 12443407. 
  12. ^ Gabrielse, G.; Kalra, R.; Kolthammer, W. S.; McConnell, R.; Richerme, P.; Grzonka, D.; Oelert, W.; Sefzick, T. (2012-03-16). "Trapped Antihydrogen in Its Ground State". Physical Review Letters. 108 (11): 113002. arXiv:1201.2717Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012PhRvL.108k3002G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.113002. PMID 22540471. 
  13. ^ DiSciacca, J.; Gabrielse, G. (2012-04-10). "Direct Measurement of the Proton Magnetic Moment". Physical Review Letters. 108 (15): 153001. arXiv:1201.3038Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012PhRvL.108o3001D. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.153001. 
  14. ^ DiSciacca, J.; Marshall, M.; Marable, K.; Gabrielse, G.; Ettenauer, S.; Tardiff, E.; Kalra, R.; Fitzakerley, D. W. (2013-03-25). "One-Particle Measurement of the Antiproton Magnetic Moment". Physical Review Letters. 110 (13): 130801. Bibcode:2013PhRvL.110m0801D. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.130801. PMID 23581304. 
  15. ^ "Physicists Measure Magnetic Moment of Single Antimatter Particle | Physics |". Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  16. ^ Odom, B.; Hanneke, D.; D’Urso, B.; Gabrielse, G. (2006-07-17). "New Measurement of the Electron Magnetic Moment Using a One-Electron Quantum Cyclotron". Physical Review Letters. 97 (3): 030801. Bibcode:2006PhRvL..97c0801O. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.030801. PMID 16907490. 
  17. ^ Schwarzschild, Bertram (2006-08-01). "Gyromagnetic ratio of a lone trapped electron is measured to better than a part per trillion". Physics Today. 59 (8): 15–17. Bibcode:2006PhT....59h..15S. doi:10.1063/1.2349714. ISSN 0031-9228. 
  18. ^ Collaboration, The ACME; Baron, J.; Campbell, W. C.; DeMille, D.; Doyle, J. M.; Gabrielse, G.; Gurevich, Y. V.; Hess, P. W.; Hutzler, N. R. (2014-01-17). "Order of Magnitude Smaller Limit on the Electric Dipole Moment of the Electron". Science. 343 (6168): 269–272. arXiv:1310.7534Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014Sci...343..269B. doi:10.1126/science.1248213. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 24356114. 
  19. ^ "'Perfect' Electron Roundness Bruises Supersymmetry : DNews". DNews. Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  20. ^ Brown, Lowell S.; Gabrielse, Gerald (1982-04-01). "Precision spectroscopy of a charged particle in an imperfect Penning trap". Physical Review A. 25 (4): 2423–2425. Bibcode:1982PhRvA..25.2423B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.25.2423. 
  21. ^ Gabrielse, G. (2009-01-15). "The true cyclotron frequency for particles and ions in a Penning trap". International Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 279 (2–3): 107–112. Bibcode:2009IJMSp.279..107G. doi:10.1016/j.ijms.2008.10.015. 
  22. ^ Gabrielse, G. (2009-04-27). "Why Is Sideband Mass Spectrometry Possible with Ions in a Penning Trap?". Physical Review Letters. 102 (17): 172501. Bibcode:2009PhRvL.102q2501G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.172501. PMID 19518777. 
  23. ^ Gabrielse, G.; Tan, J. (1988-05-15). "Self-shielding superconducting solenoid systems". Journal of Applied Physics. 63 (10): 5143–5148. Bibcode:1988JAP....63.5143G. doi:10.1063/1.340416. ISSN 0021-8979. 
  24. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Award: Gerald Gabrielse '73". Calvin College. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  25. ^ "Discussion: God of Antimatter - Gerald Gabrielse". Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  26. ^ a b "College of Science, Texas A&M University". Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  27. ^ L.J. Lapidus, D. Enzer and G. Gabrielse (1999-08-02). "Stochastic Phase-Switching of a Parametrically-Driven Electron in a Penning Trap" (PDF). Physical Review Letters, vol. 83 no. 5, 899. 
  28. ^ "APS: Prime-time physics : In The Field". Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  29. ^ "Prize Recipient". Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  30. ^ "Calvin College". Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  31. ^ "Gerald Gabrielse". Retrieved 2015-11-14. 

External links[edit]