An international team of physicists has published ground-breaking research on the decay of subatomic particles called kaons – which could change how scientists understand the formation of the universe.
Professor Sachrajda, said: “It is particularly important to compare Standard Model predictions for tiny subtle effects, such as the matter-antimatter asymmetry in kaon decays, with experimental measurements. The small size of the effects increases the chance that new, as yet not understood, phenomena may be uncovered in such a comparison. This motivates our quest for ever more precise theoretical predictions, a quest being made possible by new theoretical developments as well as access to more powerful supercomputers.”
Results from the first, less difficult, part of this calculation were reported by the same group in 2012 and was the subject of the theses by two Southampton PhD research students, Drs Elaine Goode and Tadeusz Janowski. However, it is only now, with completion of the second part of this calculation—which required more than 200 million core processing hours on supercomputers —that a comparison with the measured size of direct CP violation can be made.
Physicists’ present understanding of the universe requires that particles and their antiparticles (which are identical but have opposite charges) behave differently. Only with matter-antimatter asymmetry can they hope to explain why the universe, which was created with equal parts of matter and antimatter, is filled mostly with matter today.
“This suggests that a new mechanism must be responsible for the preponderance of matter of which we are made,” said Christopher Kelly, a member of the team from the RIKEN BNL Research Center (RBRC). “This one-part-per-million, direct CP violation may be a good place to first see it. The approximate agreement between this new calculation and the 2000 experimental results suggests that we need to look harder, which is exactly what the team performing this calculation plans to do.”
Source: Southampton University