Washington: Scientists have come closer in understanding why the universe contains more matter than antimatter.
Distinguished Professor Sheldon Stone and his colleagues recently announced their findings at a workshop at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and Stone said explained that many international experiments are interested in the Bs meson because it oscillates between a matter particle and an antimatter particle.
Understanding its properties may shed light on charge-parity [CP] violation, which refers to the balance of matter and antimatter in the universe and is one of the biggest challenges of particle physics, he added.
Scientists believe that, 14 billion years ago, energy coalesced to form equal quantities of matter and antimatter. As the universe cooled and expanded, its composition changed. Antimatter all but disappeared after the Big Bang (approximately 3.8 billion years ago), leaving behind matter to create everything from stars and galaxies to life on Earth.
Stone thinks part of the answer lies in the Bs meson, which contains an antiquark and a strange quark and is bound together by a strong interaction. In Geneva, Stone and his research team have studied two landmark experiments that took place at Fermilab, a high-energy physics laboratory near Chicago, in 2009.
The experiments involved the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) and the DZero (D0), four-story detectors that were part of Fermilab's now-defunct Tevatron, then one of the world's highest-energy particle accelerators, and the results showed that the matter-antimatter oscillations of the Bs meson deviated from the standard model of physics, but the uncertainties of their results were too high to make any solid conclusions, said Stone.
Stone had no choice but to devise a technique allowing for more precise measurements of Bs mesons. Their new result showed that the difference in oscillations between the Bs and anti-Bs meson was just as the standard model had predicted.
Stone said that the new measurement dramatically restricts the realms where new physics could be hiding, forcing physicists to expand their searches into other areas.