Something is missing in physicists' understanding of how the universe
evolved into its current state. At the big bang, equal quantities of
matter and antimatter should have been created and subsequently
annihilated each other, leaving nothing but energy. However the matter
universe is here as undeniable proof of the victory of matter over
antimatter in this initial cosmic encounter. To establish experimentally
how matter came to dominate is a central theme in particle physics
research. The BaBar experiment at SLAC is working relentlessly to tie
down an exact measurement of this effect called Charge Parity (CP) violation.
BaBar follows the infinitesimally short lives—a trillionth of a second—of
particles called B mesons and those of their antimatter counterparts,
anti-B mesons or "B-bars." Any difference in behavior of these otherwise
exact opposites indicates a difference between matter and antimatter and
confirms the existence of CP violation. BaBar's first results, announced
in the summer of 2001, gave clear evidence for CP violation in B mesons.
BaBar data continues to provide new levels of understanding of the matter
The success of BaBar is based on the power and efficiency of collaborative
science. More than 500 scientists and engineers from 75 institutions in
Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia,
Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States are working on BaBar.