IOP Wales – The Big Bang ABC: Antimatter, Bananas, and Charm

Event Information

13 July 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event categories:

The talk will cover one of the biggest mysteries around the Big Bang: why are we living in a Universe of matter, which seems all but devoid of antimatter? The Big Bang created equal amounts of matter and antimatter, which subsequently annihilated to pure energy.

Well, almost: a tiny asymmetry in the processes involving the very first subatomic particles led to a relatively small amount of leftover matter, just enough to make up all of the Universe as we know it today. I will discuss studies of these tiny asymmetries in particles containing quarks, some of matter’s fundamental building blocks. We have a theory that describes matter-antimatter asymmetries related to quarks and this has proven very successful so far.

In 2019, a dedicated experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has discovered the last missing piece in the puzzle: matter-antimatter asymmetry in charm quarks. I will describe how we made this measurement and how it fits in the bigger picture. So where do bananas come in? The clue is antimatter, tune in and find out!


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