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GENEVA (Reuters) - Physicists at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced on Wednesday they have created and trapped anti-matter, one of the biggest mysteries of modern science.
In an article in the journal Nature, CERN said it had produced anti-hydrogen atoms -- the opposite of a hydrogen atom -- in a vacuum and kept them viable for about a tenth of a second: "Long enough to study them," it said.
Some 38 anti-hydrogen atoms have now been trapped long enough for scientists to take a look at them in their quest to understand what happened to anti-matter after the Big Bang explosion that created the universe.
"For reasons that no one yet understands, nature ruled out anti-matter," Jeffrey Hangst, a spokesman for the "Alpha" experiment, said in a statement. "This inspires us to work that much harder to see if anti-matter holds some secret."
Reporting by Laura MacInnis