Feeds

LHC spots mesons flipping between matter and antimatter

Charming change a small step to explaining why matter exists

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The LHC might be inactive at the moment, but the science goes on: a group of researchers trawling the instrument's vats of data has spotted a matter-antimatter oscillation that completes their “zoo” of meson “flips”.

In a paper published at Arxiv and accepted by Physical Review Letters, the researchers say they've spotted D mesons oscillating between matter and antimatter states, a kind of interaction previously observed in K mesons and two types of B mesons.

The oscillation might sound odd, but it's an important observation in charge parity (CP) violation studies. For example, as this explanatory note at SLAC puts it: “Such 'oscillations' are allowed in the Standard Model and have been observed for neutral mesons containing strange (the K0 meson containing a strange antiquark and a d quark) or beauty quarks (both the B0 meson containing a beauty antiquark and a d quark).”

Mesons are particles with two quarks – one matter, the other antimatter. For example, D mesons combine a charm quark with an up antiquark. They also have a finite lifetime.

In their publication, “the first observation of (D meson / D anti-meson) oscillations from a single measurement”, the LHCb collaboration authors suggest “Together with the recent evidence of CP violation in charm decays, this can be interpreted as a hint for the presence of non-SM physics.” (It's D meson decays that also provided other hints at CP violation, the paper notes).

The D meson oscillation had been inferred from other experiments, but this is the first time a single measurement has exceeded five-sigma confidence. CP violation is part of the investigation into why matter exists, since if the proto-universe had produced all particle types in symmetry, matter and antimatter would have wiped each other out. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?