Belle Finds a Hint of New Physics in Extremely Rare B Decays

Sep 07, 2009
Figure 1: The results of lepton angular distribution measurements in B decays to a K* meson and a lepton pair. The vertical axis shows the forward-backward asymmetry of a positively charged lepton with respect to a K* meson. The horizontal axis shows the invariant mass of the lepton pair. The points with error bars are data, the solid curve is the Standard Model expectation, and the dotted curve is an example of a model where super-symmetric particles are produced in the decay.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Quarks, the most fundamental constituents of matters, are classified into six species grouped into three generations as predicted by Professors Kobayashi and Maskawa. The purpose of the B factory experiment is to elucidate the fundamental laws of elementary particles by producing B mesons that contain the second heaviest quark (bottom). An international team of researchers at the High Energy Accelerator Research organization (KEK) in Tsukuba, Japan, the "Belle collaboration", has achieved many successes, including the discovery of CP violation in B meson decays and proof of the Kobayashi-Maskawa theory, the discoveries of new decay processes in B decays and D-meson mixing as well as the observation of new resonances.

The performance of the KEKB accelerator has been further improved and achieved a peak luminosity exceeding twice its design value in June 2009. Belle has accumulated about 800 million B and anti-B meson pairs. In particular, Belle has recently analyzed angular distributions of leptons in B mesons that decay into a K* meson (an excited state of a K meson) and a lepton anti-lepton pair (here lepton stands for an electron or a muon), using 660 million pairs of B and anti-B mesons; the observed results are larger than the expectation and provide a hint of new physics beyond the Standard Model.

These results were presented at the Lepton-Photon International Symposium taking place from August 17th in Hamburg, Germany.

Figure 1 shows the forward-backward asymmetries of a positively charged lepton with respect to the direction of a K* meson in B decays to a K* and a lepton pair. The measured data points are above the Standard Model expectation (solid curve). In the Standard Model, this decay mode proceeds via the "Penguin diagram" shown in Fig. 2.

Figure 2 : Schematic view of a B decay to a K* meson and a lepton pair (Penguin diagram).

This type of decay proceeds via intermediate particles, such as a Z-boson or a W-boson, which are much heavier than the B meson. According to the Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, it is possible to produce such heavy particles for a very short time. New heavy particles beyond those in the Standard Model are also expected to be produced in a similar way. Super-symmetric particles are considered as most promising candidates.

A measurement of the lepton forward-backward asymmetry is an excellent way to probe the nature of such heavy particles. Since the measured data points are closer to the expectation when super-symmetric particles are produced, the difference between the measurements and the Standard Model expectation may indicate that such new physics particles are produced in addition to Z and W -bosons.

This decay process was discovered by the Belle in 2002. However, the measurement of the lepton forward-backward asymmetry has been quite difficult due to the very small decay rates. It has become possible only with increased data samples thanks to the improved performance of the KEKB . About 250 signal evens are obtained in this analysis.

There are various processes involving Penguin diagrams and other hints for new physics have been found, such as the difference in CP violation between neutral and charged B decays to a K meson and a pi meson. The observed D-meson mixing is unexpectedly large and close to the upper limit of Standard Model expectations; this may also indicate the effect of new physics. In order to clarify whether these hints are due to new physics or not, Belle continues measurements with a larger accumulated data sample.

The "Belle collaboration" is an international team of about 370 faculty, postdoctoral and student researchers from 61 institutes (universities and laboratories) located in 15 different countries and regions.

Provided by KEK

Explore further: A new multi-bit 'spin' for MRAM storage

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A Particle of a Different Flavor?

Nov 29, 2007

Just as chocolate ice cream never spontaneously becomes strawberry or vanilla, leptons—electrons, muons and taus—are supposed to conserve their "flavor," or family.

Particle decay may point to New Physics

Oct 11, 2006

A tiny flaw has caught the attention of physicists: the Standard Model (SM) predicts that the B meson mixing phase should be measured at nearly the same result using two different classes of decay modes. However, ...

Why matter matters in the universe

Mar 28, 2008

A new physics discovery explores why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe. The latest research findings, which involved significant contributions from physicists at the University of Melbourne, have been recently ...

Search for Rare Particle Decay Comes Up Short

Aug 01, 2006

Based on work performed at a large particle detector known as the BaBaR experiment, scientists announced recently that they do not see evidence to support theoretical predictions that an extremely rare particle ...

Recommended for you

A new multi-bit 'spin' for MRAM storage

3 hours ago

Interest in magnetic random access memory (MRAM) is escalating, thanks to demand for fast, low-cost, nonvolatile, low-consumption, secure memory devices. MRAM, which relies on manipulating the magnetization ...

New study refines biological evolution model

Jul 21, 2014

Models for the evolution of life are now being developed to try and clarify the long term dynamics of an evolving system of species. Specifically, a recent model proposed by Petri Kärenlampi from the University ...

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

superhuman
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 08, 2009
Personally I suspect our understanding of weak interactions is completely wrong. Spin 1 bosons cannot have mass, Higgs mechanism is supposed to "explain" this problem away, but it doesn't hold any water IMHO.
Alexa
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 08, 2009
Forward-backward asymmetry is situation, when number of collision products collision are different in direction of particle beam and in opposite direction. This is because products of collision are strongly oriented by their spins with respect to moment of collision due the relativity, so that CP-symmetry violation of decay speed can take place. We can observe this situation at the case of black hole jets, which are becoming asymmetric often and one of polar jets is significantly larger, then the another one.

The supersymmetric effect is leveling this asymmetry because it transforms heavy products of collision into strangelet, which stabilizes products of collisions for some time and enables them to thermalize their spins, thus decreasing effect of CP-symmetry violation. This effect is the most pronounced at the case of rare beta decays, which are driven by weak force boson at very short distances.
Alexa
Sep 08, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Alexa
Sep 08, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Velanarris
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 08, 2009
Personally I suspect our understanding of weak interactions is completely wrong. Spin 1 bosons cannot have mass, Higgs mechanism is supposed to "explain" this problem away, but it doesn't hold any water IMHO.
I agree.

By now we all know there's something toxic in the standard model.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (8) Sep 08, 2009
And the Alexa clones start again.

That's fine, I think I know how to address this.
otto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 08, 2009
Dynamite?
Velanarris
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 08, 2009
Add a new name to the list, honhrain