Open Cource Wares Wednesday 30 September 2009
While the Laws of Physics are remarkably similar for particles of matter and particles of antimatter -- e.g., in Quantum Mechanics, the energy levels of a hydrogen atom are identical to those of an anti-hydrogen atom-- Nature itself is decidedly matter-antimatter asymmetric. The Earth's environment, including at least the Milky Way Galaxy and the nearby cluster of Galaxies, is all made of matter. The minute amounts of antimatter observed in Nature are produced by nuclear processes & have a transitory existence. This symmetry of the Laws of Physics in the face of such a huge asymmetry in Nature has been a major embarrassment to particle physicists, particularly to those that think the Standard Model for quarks and leptons can be applied to the Cosmos as a whole. In this talk I will describe the novel idea of Makoto Kobayashi & Toshihide Maskawa for incorporating matter-antimatter asymmetry into particle physics theory, and how experiments with B-mesons proved them to be correct and led to their Nobel Prize in 2008.