Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dramatic Difference Discovered In Behaviour Of Matter And Antimatter

03.08.2004


Yesterday, August 2nd 2004, particle physicists from the UK and around the world working on the BABAR experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in the USA, announced exciting new results demonstrating a dramatic difference in the behaviour of matter and antimatter. Their discovery may help to explain why the Universe we live in is dominated by matter, rather than containing equal parts matter and anti-matter.



SLAC’s PEP-II accelerator collides electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons, to produce an abundance of exotic heavy particle and anti-particle pairs known as B and anti-B mesons. These rare forms of matter and antimatter are short-lived, decaying in turn to other lighter subatomic particles, such as kaons and pions, which can be seen in the BABAR experiment.

“If there were no difference between matter and antimatter, both the B meson and the anti-B meson would exhibit exactly the same pattern of decays. However, our new measurement shows an example of a large difference in decay rates instead.” said Marcello Giorgi, of SLAC, Pisa University and INFN, Spokesman of BABAR.


By sifting through the decays of more than 200 million pairs of B and anti-B mesons, experimenters have discovered striking matter-antimatter asymmetry. “We found 910 examples of the B meson decaying to a kaon and a pion, but only 696 examples for the anti-B”, explained Giorgi. “The new measurement is very much a result of the outstanding performance of SLAC’s PEP-II accelerator and the efficiency of the BABAR detector. The accelerator is now operating at 3 times its design performance and BABAR is able to record about 98% of collisions.”

While BABAR and other experiments have observed matter-antimatter asymmetries before, this is the first time that a difference has been found by simple counting of the number of decays of B and anti-B mesons to the same final state. This effect is known as direct CP violation and is found to be 13%; a similar effect occurs for decays of Kaons and antiKaons but only at the level of 4 parts in a million!

“This is a strong, convincing signal of direct CP violation in B decays, a type of matter-antimatter asymmetry which was expected to exist but has not been observed before. With this discovery the full pattern of matter-antimatter asymmetries is coming together into a coherent picture. I am very excited and pleased as one of my postgraduate students, Carlos Chavez who is currently at SLAC, was directly involved.” said Christos Touramanis of the University of Liverpool.

Dan Bowerman, a member of the BABAR team from Imperial College adds “When the universe began with the big bang, matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts. However, all observations indicate that we live in a universe made only of matter. So we have to ask, what happened to the antimatter? The work at BABAR is bringing us closer to answering this question.”

Subtle differences between the behaviour of matter and antimatter must be responsible for the matter-antimatter imbalance that developed in our universe. But our current knowledge of these differences is incomplete and insufficient to account for the observed matter domination. CP violation is one of the three conditions outlined by Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov to account for the observed imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe.

Professor Ian Halliday, Chief Executive of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council which funds UK participation in BABAR said: “We still don’t understand fully how the matter dominated Universe we live in has evolved. However this new result, and recent related measurements in BABAR and other experiments around the world, have greatly advanced our understanding in this area. There is still much to discover and learn on this fundamental issue.”

Julia Maddock | alfa
Further information:
http://www.pparc.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>