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Fermilab Finds New Mechanism for Matter’s Dominance over Antimatter: Scientific American

May 20

The Large Hadron Collider may be up and running outside Geneva, but the particle accelerator it supplanted as top dog in the particle physics community appears to have a few surprises left to deliver. Data from the workhorse Tevatron collider at Fermilab in Illinois show what appears to be a preference for matter over antimatter in the way an unusual kind of particle decays, according to a new analysis in a Tevatron research collaboration.

Physicists and cosmologists seek such mechanisms to help explain why matter prevailed over antimatter in the early universe, when both should have been created in equal parts, yielding a storm of mutual annihilation and not the stable material structures—galaxies and the like—that fill the universe.

Some properties of high-energy physics have been shown to be fundamentally asymmetrical, producing matter more often than antimatter, but in quantities too small to explain the relative dearth of antimatter in the universe. The new mechanism observed at the Tevatron’s DZero detector appears to work on a much larger scale, says Fermilab staff scientist Dmitri Denisov, co-spokesperson for the DZero collaboration, but whether it can explain the preponderance of matter today remains to be seen. In any event, the asymmetry does not fit with the long-reigning Standard Model of particle physics, suggesting that some hitherto unknown particle or interaction may be at play.

via Fermilab Finds New Mechanism for Matter’s Dominance over Antimatter: Scientific American.

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