For every type of matter particle there exists an anti particle which has opposite quantum properties such as charge and spin. Particles and anti particles can be created simultaneously from energy and conversely the can combine and annihilate to generate energy. The big bang which took place at the beginning of the universe is an example where equal amounts of particles and anti particles were generated. However billions of years later we find that there are more particles than antiparticles in the universe. The question today is where has all the anti particles gone?
The BaBar (link opens in a new window) high energy physics experiment is based at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) (link opens in a new window) in California USA. The experiment is an international collaboration consisting of over 600 physists from over 10 countries. The goal of the experiment is to study Charge Parity (CP) symmetry in B mesons. CP symmetry dictates that the physics of particle interactions should also be the same for anti particles. If this CP symmetry is broken (CP violation), it is a big step to explaining why there are more particles in the universe than anti particles.
The BaBar experiments studies CP violation by colliding electrons with its antiparticle the positron to produce the Y(4S) mesons. The Y(4S) meson decays to pairs of B and anti B mesons, where we study the B mesons for CP violation.
The RAL PPD group is heavily involved in data analysis and computing, hosting one of the five main BaBar computing sites.
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