Matter / Antimatter - Atom Smasher Makes New Discovery - Page 2
From the experiment, the researchers found a 0.8 percent difference in the probabilities that the matter and antimatter versions of these particles would decay into a particular end state.
The new finding ranks as a "3.5 sigma" result, meaning the statistics are solid enough that there is only a 0.05 percent likelihood that the pattern they see isn't really there. For something to count as a true discovery in particle physics, it must reach a 5 sigma level of confidence.
"It's certainly exciting, and certainly worth pursuing," LHCb researcher Matthew Charles of England's Oxford University told LiveScience. "At this point it's a tantalizing hint. It's evidence of something interesting going on, but we're keeping the champagne on ice, let's say."
If the finding is borne out, it would be a big deal, because it would mean the reigning theory of particle physics, called the Standard Model, is incomplete. Currently the Standard Model does allow for some minor CP violation, but not at the level of 0.8 percent. To explain these results, scientists would have to alter their theory or add some new physics to the existing picture.
One possible example of the kind of new physics that might explain such CP violation is called supersymmetry. This theory suggests that in addition to all the known particles, there are supersymmetric partner particles that differ by half a unit of spin. Spin is one of the fundamental characteristics of elementary particles.
So far, no one has found direct evidence of supersymmetry. But if supersymmetric particles exist, they might be created instantaneously and disappear again during the particle-decay process. That way they could interfere with the decay process, potentially explaining why matter and antimatter decay differently.
As the old saying goes ... the more man gains answers to questions, the more questions to be answered are raised here ... on this Oblate Spheroid.