Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CP violation observed in B-meson systems by the D0 detector at Fermilab's Tevatron!

While the eyes of the physics world have been glued on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the physicists toiling away at the LHC's predecesor in Batavia, Illinois have been hard at work making new discoveries. Team members of the D0 Collaboration at Fermilab's Tevatron have announced the observation of what appears to be a CP violation in the oscillation of neutral B-mesons into their own antiparticles.

Okay, now that I've made the eyes of any non-physicist reading this glaze over, perhaps a plain English explanation of this outcome and its significance is in order. It is perhaps easier if I start with the latter in order to provide historical context. To do that, we need to start at the beginning. The very beginning. The Big Bang.