Wednesday, 30 June 2010

On StarStuff today: Matter and antimatter

You can hear me in the current issue of ABC's online StarStuff program, talking about recent results from the MiniBooNE and MINOS experiments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory ("Fermilab") outside Chicago. Our segment starts about ten minutes into the program. [A ?permanent? link to the MP3 can be found here: starstuff20100630.mp3; the file is 15MB.]

Both experiments have presented preliminary results that hint at differences between matter and antimatter — specifically, kinds of differences that should not occur on our current understanding. And so there has been a certain amount of fuss.

Unlike the work mentioned in the previous post, which concerned mesons, the new results are from experiments on those most fascinating and frustrating of elementary particles, neutrinos. Complicating the interpretation is that there are anomalies in earlier MiniBooNE data which are still not understood.

If you're after a written version of the story, there is an article at

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Coming up for air

I guess it's kind of obvious that I've been preoccupied in the last six months. One of my preoccupations has now reached its conclusion: our most recent major paper on CP violation has just been published in Physical Review D. (A publicly accessible version can be found on the physics preprint server:
arXiv:1003.3360 [hep-ex].) The short version is that CP violation is important in answering the question "how is it possible for you to be here?". (Note that I didn't say that the question was "why are you here?". A lot hangs on that distinction.)

I discussed some of the issues briefly in a previous post on the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics.

More on other things soon.