Gerald Gabrielse


Gerald Gabrielse is an American physicist. He is the Board of Trustees Professor of Physics and director of the Center for Fundamental Physics at Northwestern University, and Emeritus George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard 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]

Gerald Gabrielse
Alma materCalvin College (B.S.)
University of Chicago (Ph.D.)
Known forantimatter, precision measurement
AwardsDavisson–Germer Prize (2002)
George Ledlie Prize (2004)
Inducted into the National Academy of Sciences (2007)
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize (2011)
Trotter Prize (2014)
Norman F. Ramsey Prize (2024)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Washington
Harvard University
Northwestern University
Doctoral advisorHenry Gordon Berry
Other academic advisorsHans Dehmelt (postdoc)
Doctoral studentsTanya Zelevinsky



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 Harvard's physics department in 2000.

In 2018, Gabrielse moved to Northwestern University, becoming the director of the newly created Center for Fundamental Physics at Low Energy.[5][6] The center is the first of its kind to be dedicated to small-scale, tabletop fundamental physics experiments.[7]



Antimatter research


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,[8] and the use of these to form low energy antihydrogen atoms.[9] He led the TRAP team that realized the first antiproton trapping,[10] the first electron cooling of trapped antiprotons, and the accumulation of antiprotons in a 4 Kelvin apparatus.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13][14] 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.[15][16] Their comparison, to a precision of 5 parts per million, was 680 times more precision than previous measurements.[17]

Precision measurement


Gabrielse's group has been known to perform the most precise measurements of the electron magnetic moment by using a single trapped electron. These measurements are the most precise measurements of any single particle and are among the most stringent tests of the Standard Model.[18] Using the theory of quantum electrodynamics, a measurement of the electron magnetic moment can also be interpreted as a measurement of the fine structure constant.[19] In 2006, the group made its first measurement with an uncertainty of 0.76 parts per trillion,[20] which was 15 times more precise than a measurement that had stood for about 20 years.[21] This measurement was improved two years later by a factor of 2.[22] In 2023, the team improved upon the 2008 uncertainty by another factor of 2.[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,[23] a result which had implications for the viability of supersymmetry.[24] In 2018, the ACME collaboration improved upon this upper limit by another order of magnitude.[25]

Other research contributions


Gabrielse was also one of the discoverers of the Brown-Gabrielse invariance theorem,[26] 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.[27] It also makes sideband mass spectrometry possible, a standard tool of nuclear physics.[28]

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.[29]

Religious views


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.[30]

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.[31] He was awarded the Trotter Prize in 2013.[32]






  1. ^ a b Fan, X.; Myers, T. G.; Sukra, B. A. D.; Gabrielse, G. (2023-02-13). "Measurement of the Electron Magnetic Moment". Physical Review Letters. 130 (7): 071801. arXiv:2209.13084. Bibcode:2023PhRvL.130g1801F. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.130.071801. PMID 36867820. S2CID 123962197.
  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:1310.7534. Bibcode:2014Sci...343..269B. doi:10.1126/science.1248213. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 24356114. S2CID 564518.
  3. ^ "Renowned Physicist Gerald Gabrielse To Join Northwestern: Northwestern University News". Archived from the original on 2016-07-29. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  4. ^ "Hans G. Dehmelt - Biographical". Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  5. ^ "Renowned Physicist Gerald Gabrielse To Join Northwestern: Northwestern University News". Archived from the original on 2016-07-29. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  6. ^ "Meet Physicist Jerry Gabrielse: Weinberg College - Northwestern University". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  7. ^ Popkin, Gabriel (2018-01-10). "Step aside CERN: There's a cheaper way to break open physics". Nature. 553 (7687): 142–144. Bibcode:2018Natur.553..142P. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-00106-5.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Gabrielse, G. "Erice Proposal" (PDF).
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Gabrielse, G. (December 1992). "Extremely Cold Antiprotons". Scientific American. 267 (6): 78. Bibcode:1992SciAm.267f..78G. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1292-78.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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" (PDF). Physical Review Letters. 89 (21): 213401. Bibcode:2002PhRvL..89u3401G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.213401. PMID 12443407.
  14. ^ 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:1201.2717. Bibcode:2012PhRvL.108k3002G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.113002. PMID 22540471. S2CID 1480649.
  15. ^ DiSciacca, J.; Gabrielse, G. (2012-04-10). "Direct Measurement of the Proton Magnetic Moment". Physical Review Letters. 108 (15): 153001. arXiv:1201.3038. Bibcode:2012PhRvL.108o3001D. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.153001. PMID 22587247. S2CID 18621981.
  16. ^ 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. arXiv:1301.6310. Bibcode:2013PhRvL.110m0801D. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.130801. PMID 23581304. S2CID 14943420.
  17. ^ "Physicists Measure Magnetic Moment of Single Antimatter Particle | Physics |". Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  18. ^ Wilkins, Alex. "Physicists made the most precise measurement ever of a single particle". New Scientist. Retrieved 2023-03-16.
  19. ^ Gabrielse, G.; Hanneke, D.; Kinoshita, T.; Nio, M.; Odom, B. (2006-07-17). "New Determination of the Fine Structure Constant from the Electron $g$ Value and QED". Physical Review Letters. 97 (3): 030802. Bibcode:2006PhRvL..97c0802G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.030802. PMID 16907491. S2CID 763602.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ 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:0801.1134. Bibcode:2008PhRvL.100l0801H. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.120801. PMID 18517850. S2CID 2216271.
  23. ^ 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:1310.7534. Bibcode:2014Sci...343..269B. doi:10.1126/science.1248213. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 24356114. S2CID 564518.
  24. ^ "'Perfect' Electron Roundness Bruises Supersymmetry : DNews". DNews. Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  25. ^ Andreev, V.; Ang, D. G.; DeMille, D.; Doyle, J. M.; Gabrielse, G.; Haefner, J.; Hutzler, N. R.; Lasner, Z.; Meisenhelder, C.; O’Leary, B. R.; Panda, C. D.; West, A. D.; West, E. P.; Wu, X.; ACME Collaboration (2018-10-17). "Improved limit on the electric dipole moment of the electron". Nature. 562 (7727): 355–360. Bibcode:2018Natur.562..355A. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0599-8. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 30333583. S2CID 186242690.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ 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. S2CID 32016734.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ a b "Distinguished Alumni Award: Gerald Gabrielse '73". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  31. ^ "Discussion: God of Antimatter - Gerald Gabrielse". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  32. ^ a b "Trotter Lecture Series". Archived from the original on 2023-05-06. Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  33. ^ 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.
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  36. ^ "APS Fellow Archive". Retrieved 2023-11-01.
  37. ^ "Past Alumni Of The Year (Technical)". Trinity Christian College. Retrieved 2023-11-01.
  38. ^ "Prize Recipient". Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  39. ^ Office, Ken Gewertz Harvard News (2004-04-22). "George Ledlie Prize goes to physicist Gerald Gabrielse". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 2023-11-01.
  40. ^ "Gerald Gabrielse". Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  41. ^ "Zachariasen Memorial Lectures | Department of Physics | The University of Chicago". Retrieved 2023-11-01.
  42. ^ Gabrielse, Gerald (2009), Duplantier, Bertrand; Raimond, Jean-Michel; Rivasseau, Vincent (eds.), "Probing a Single Isolated Electron: New Measurements of the Electron Magnetic Moment and the Fine Structure Constant", The Spin: Poincaré Seminar 2007, Progress in Mathematical Physics, Basel: Birkhäuser, pp. 105–145, doi:10.1007/978-3-7643-8799-0_4, ISBN 978-3-7643-8799-0, retrieved 2023-11-09
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  44. ^ "Tomassoni Chisesi Prize | Dipartimento di Fisica". Retrieved 2023-11-01.
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  • Scientific publications of Gerald Gabrielse on INSPIRE-HEP