Coast to Coast Seminar Series: "Flavour Physics: The Generation Puzzle: Symmetries and Mysteries"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
11:30 - 12:30

Dr. Robert Kowalewski
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria


The world we experience is essentially made of three fundamental particles: the electron and the two kinds of quarks that make up protons and neutrons. Yet nature has chosen to copy this structure at least twice more, with each copy heavier than the last. How have these extra "generations" shaped the universe we live in? Studies of particles containing the heavier quarks have revealed fascinating phenomena: the pure left-handed nature of the charged Weak interaction; the spontaneous transmutation of matter into antimatter and back; and a mechanism for breaking matter-antimatter symmetry, which may be connected to the dominance of matter in our universe. Sensitive measurements in this area have guided the development of our theories and will provide constraints on any new theories that may be proposed in light of discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider. This talk will review the highlights of flavour physics from the discovery of "strange" particles through the present.