Physics researchers working at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) Laboratory in Japan have observed a new type of interaction among the most fundamental of particles, the quark. The scientists reported at the Symposium on Lepton-Photon Interactions at High Energies, June 30-July 5 in Uppsala, Sweden, that they had produced first evidence of a beauty quark converting to the lightest of quarks, the down quark.
It was proven that B meson decays into a lighter meson such as _ or _ with an accompanying photon. This is an evidence for bÆd transition.
It was also confirmed that B meson disintegrates into two K mesons with a probability of the order of 10-6. This is also an evidence for bÆd transition.
"Observation of this very rare phenomenon allows us to study if this occurs only through the so-called penguin process (a two-step transition wherein the beauty quark momentarily transforms into the top quark that subsequently transforms into the down quark) as predicted by the standard theory, or through some hitherto unobserved way," said Leo Piilonen, Virginia Tech physics professor and a member of the Belle experiments research team.
Virginia Tech is a founding institution in the Belle experiment that studies the properties of the beauty (b) quark at the KEK Laboratory. The Belle experiment studies the decay patterns of the b-quark to search for clues on how the universe is constructed. Using a the electron-positron colliding beam accelerator, the so-called B Factory has made many important contributions to our understanding of nature at its most fundamental level, including those just announced by Professor Kazuo Abe of the KEK Laboratory in his plenary talk in Sweden. (See release posted at http://belle.kek.jp/).
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