Clifford Surko

Clifford Surko

Ph. D., UC, Berkeley, 1968


Office: MHA 4581
Phone: 858-534-6880

Research Statement

We are developing techniques to accumulate, store and manipulate large numbers of positrons and to create specially tailored plasmas and positron beams - in essence, to make low-energy antimatter in the laboratory a reality. We are using these tools in a number of applications. We conducted the first studies of electron-positron plasmas and a number of high-resolution studies of the interaction of positrons with atoms and molecules. Current work focuses on understanding positron binding to neutral matter and molecular dynamics in the presence of attached positrons (lifetimes ≤ 10 ns) - important elements in developing a quantitative chemistry of matter and antimatter.

In the technology area, we are developing new types of specially tailored positron beams, including the use of cryogenically cooled, trapped positrons to improve energy resolution. We also built the prototype of a novel multicell trap to extend antimatter storage capabilities by orders of magnitude.

Finally, exploiting strongly magnetized electron plasmas as an analog, we are studying the two-dimensional dynamics of fluid vorticity under the influence of externally applied shear flows.