LHC discovers D-Mesons oscillating between Matter and Antimatter


 

Particle decay patterns as seen by the LHC

Particle decay patterns as seen by the LHC

Much of the focus of the Large Hadron Collider, at least as far as the outside world sees it, has been on the Higgs boson. While scientists haven’t yet said that they’ve discovered “the” Higgs boson, they did find something very similar.

But they are looking at plenty of other things as well, and some researchers at the LHC have now revealed that they have proof of D-mesons oscillating between matter, antimatter and back.

Mesons are one type of particle defined by the Standard Model made up of two quarks, specifically a quark and an antiquark.

Up until now, experiments had shown that three out of the four types of known mesons, K-mesons and two types of B-mesons, can oscillate between matter and antimatter, i.e. the quarks and antiquarks they’re made of spontaneously switch to their corresponding antiparticle and then back again.

Using data from the LHC, researchers have shown that D-mesons behave in the same way with a five-sigma degree of certainty, enough to qualify it as a discovery and thus “fact” in the eyes of science.

This is a major step in verifying experimentally the body of theories that currently underlie our understanding of the universe.

Sources: CERN, ArXiv.org, Softpedia, LHC

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