I was going out to dinner last night with some of my colleagues and the topic of new physics results at the Tevatron (specifically DZero) came up. I’m always happy to hear about new physics happenings because it’s too easy to get so caught up in your work that you don’t notice other work being done around you. I know a couple of other bloggers have already posted it, but I’m still excited about it. And maybe a little out of the loop since it’s my last week at CERN and I’ve been really focused on getting a functioning analysis together .
So for those of you that haven’t heard/read… there’s some interesting stuff happening with CP violation at the Tevatron. Here’s some background:
The Tevatron produces copious amounts of particles called B mesons. B mesons (quark-antiquark b – d or s pairs) oscillate between themselves and their antiparticles (Something I’m happy to elaborate on if anyone is interested). This oscillation can violate CP (charge conjugation and parity symmetry) thus preferring one state in the matter/antimatter system vs. the other. (This also happens in the kaon system, and was one of the first pieces of experimental evidence that CP was violated). According to the standard model, this asymmetry is supposed to be very small (on the order of 10-4) – so small the Tevatron experiments can not measure it accurately. However that’s not what they found…
There is evidence that the asymmetry is about 100x larger than expected or 3.2 sigma (or 3.2 standard deviations). Now that’s not enough away from the predicted value to claim discovery just yet (need 5 sigma to be really sure). But it’s a very interesting result. Here’s a link to the arXiv paper
The New York Times also published a nice article. You know you’ve hit the big time, when the NYT has an article about it . Although I dislike it when physicists talk about finding faces or toes of god.