The physics of the B quark are in their most exciting and interesting
times with BaBar's and BELLE's recent observation of CP
violation that will lead perhaps to its total understanding.
CP violation results from the very small differences between the behaviour of matter and antimatter.
A high luminosity B-factory at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
is enabling us to pursue an aggressive program studying and understanding the
origin of CP violation. The beams are ~ 3 and 9 GeV positrons and electrons,
at currents of 1 and 2 Amps! We are talking Gigawatt's here!
At the BaBar Experiment at the PEP-II storage ring in
Stanford, California we are investigating the phenomena of CP violation by
examining a huge (now almost two hundred million) number of B meson decays.
We hope to further our understanding of the origin of the matter-antimatter
asymmetry of the universe, which is very closely related CP violation.
Most consistent Big-Bang theories predict equal parts of matter and antimatter in our universe.
However, no experimental evidence exists for huge pockets of antimatter, rather
than matter, and hence a big question in particle physics today is "where has
all the anti-matter gone?"
We have a bit of a lead: in rare decays of neutral kaons, we have seen
evidence for a tiny amount CP violation... that is, decays in which there is a
But it is hard (seemingly impossible!) to use this tiny violation of CP symmetry
and incorporate it into a consistent theory to explain the vast
matter-antimatter asymmetry of our universe within the Standard Model.
Such an asymmetry may potentially be accommodated within the Standard Model via
quark couplings specified in the CKM matrix. So at SLAC, we are making and
reconstructing tens of millions of B mesons per year, and are making progress
in gaining some insight into and understanding of the phenomenon of CP violation.
While we are studying all these B decays there are many other types of
physics we can investigate; after all, we have the worlds largest supply of
B mesons, and charmed particles as well. We can study rare decays,
investigate interactions of the quarks, search for new particles, measure
lifetimes of short-lived particles, and study QED and QCD, among other things. There is
no shortage of interesting thesis topics.
Introductory Level BaBar
Introductory Level Particle Physics
A More Advanced Look at BaBar