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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Evidence May Show Cracks in Standard Model

This theory, called the Standard Model, is the best handbook scientists have to describe the tiny bits of matter that make up the universe. But many physicists suspect the Standard Model has some holes in it, and findings like this may point to where those holes are hiding.

Inside the BaBar experiment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., researchers observe collisions between electrons and their antimatter partners, positrons (scientists think all matter particles have antimatter counterparts with equal mass but opposite charge). When these particles collide, they explode into energy that converts into new particles. These often include so-called B-bar mesons, which are made of both matter and antimatter, specifically a bottom quark and an antiquark. ...

The BaBar researchers were looking for a particular decay process where B-bar mesons decay into three other particles: a D meson (a quark and an antiquark, one of which is "charm" flavored), an antineutrino (the antimatter partner of the neutrino) and a tau lepton (a cousin of an electron).

What they found is that this process apparently happens more often than the Standard Model predicts it will.
Obviously, this shows that there probably needs to be some tweaking to the standard model to account for this, if in fact the findings are verified. Question: Will this have any implication for theories concerning the extinction of antimatter after the Big Bang?

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