Difference in direct charge-parity violation between charged and neutral B meson decays

Nature. 2008 Mar 20;452(7185):332-5. doi: 10.1038/nature06827.


Equal amounts of matter and antimatter are predicted to have been produced in the Big Bang, but our observable Universe is clearly matter-dominated. One of the prerequisites for understanding this elimination of antimatter is the nonconservation of charge-parity (CP) symmetry. So far, two types of CP violation have been observed in the neutral K meson (K(0)) and B meson (B(0)) systems: CP violation involving the mixing between K(0) and its antiparticle (and likewise for B(0) and ), and direct CP violation in the decay of each meson. The observed effects for both types of CP violation are substantially larger for the B(0) meson system. However, they are still consistent with the standard model of particle physics, which has a unique source of CP violation that is known to be too small to account for the matter-dominated Universe. Here we report that the direct CP violation in charged B(+/-)-->K(+/-)pi(0) decay is different from that in the neutral B(0) counterpart. The direct CP-violating decay rate asymmetry, (that is, the difference between the number of observed B(-)-->K(-)pi(0) event versus B(+)-->K(+) pi(0) events, normalized to the sum of these events) is measured to be about +7%, with an uncertainty that is reduced by a factor of 1.7 from a previous measurement. However, the asymmetry for versus B(0)-->K(+)pi(-) is at the -10% level. Although it is susceptible to strong interaction effects that need further clarification, this large deviation in direct CP violation between charged and neutral B meson decays could be an indication of new sources of CP violation-which would help to explain the dominance of matter in the Universe.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.