Symmetry violation and the origin of matter: Experts discuss absence of symmetry under time reversal

Workshop of international scientists hosted by the Mainz Institute for Theoretical Physics (MITP)


About 15 internationally acknowledged scientists in the fields of theoretical and experimental physics from various prestigious research centers in Europe are meeting at the workshop “T Violation and CPT Tests” from April 15 to 16 in Mainz. The participants discuss the newest research results concerning the origin of matter. At the center of the meeting is the physical problem of symmetry breaking and eventually the question about the impact of the big bang on the creation of matter. The workshop is hosted by the MITP, an institution of the Cluster of Excellence „Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter“ (PRISMA).

Up to this point, it is not clear why more matter than anti-matter evolved following the big bang. Today, hardly any anti-matter can be found in space. When anti-matter is confronted with matter in the process of creation, anti-matter gets directly destroyed. The reason for this imbalance between matter and anti-matter is related to the violation of the so-called CP symmetry (“charge parity”). The CP symmetry claims that all processes in physics are equally possible if matter is exchanged with anti-matter and space-reflection occurs. CP-breaking processes, based on the fundamental CPT-symmetry theorem, also imply a violation of the transformation of time reversal (T).

At the MITP workshop, the participants discuss the first direct measurement of breaking time reversal symmetry in the system of neutral B mesons at the BABAR experiment of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in the U.S. Now, the results from the Stanford test are to be discussed in relation with symmetry-breaking experiments on time reversal in neutral kaon systems conducted at CPLEAR (CERN, Geneva) and at the KLOE Electron Positron Collider (DAFNE, Italy). Another thematic focus is set on discussing the sensitivity of current CPT-tests and on the prospects of these measurements.

The current workshop is the second of its kind offered by MITP this year. “Our events are an important component of our work to enable top physicists from all over the world to share their knowledge and thus arrive at new insights,” explains Tobias Hurth, scientific coordinator of MITP. Around 250 scientists are working together in the new research association which receives about 35 million Euro of federal funding over the next five years. PRISMA deals with fundamental questions concerning the basic elements of matter and their meaning for the physics of the universe. MITP is one of the core initiatives of the cluster with the goal of taking over the role of an international theory center in the future. The next major event hosted by MITP will be the workshop on "Theoretical issues of cosmic rays and photons from dark matter" taking place in Schloss Waldthausen near Mainz from June 29 to July 2 2013.