Symmetries have long been an important part of characterizing physical laws. Although some of the most beautiful theories exhibit symmetric properties, startling discoveries in physics have come at the expense of these symmetries, which have been broken to reveal an underlying property of nature.
Indeed, studies of weak nuclear reactions in the 1960s led to the discovery of parity violation, and a deeper understanding of electromagnetism and the weak force. Current theory predicts that the strong force, the force that binds quarks together, should exhibit only symmetric properties. However, physicists at Fermilab will leave no stone unturned. Towards this goal, the CDF experiment has tested discrete symmetries of the strong force by studying top quark events produced by the Tevatron.
Top quarks are produced at the Tevatron dominantly through the strong force. They are the most massive known particle, and have properties that some theories suggest may be related to electroweak symmetry breaking and the Higgs boson. The Tevatron is a highly suitable experiment to study the symmetry of producing top quarks. As it collides protons with anti-protons the collision is asymmetric.
Previous research by the CDF experiment found evidence of a larger asymmetry than the Standard Model leads us to expect, which could be evidence of a new particle just out of reach at the Tevatron’s collision energy. The result presented here measures the forward-backward asymmetry in top production in completely separate data from previous work: data where the signature of top quark events in the detector include two leptons. This new result provides an independent look at the this strange effect. In this new result, CDF measures a corrected Afb = 42 +/- 16 percent, which is 2.6 sigma from zero and 2.3 sigma from the Standard Model expectation. This exciting result provides further evidence of a larger than expected asymmetry in top quark production.
View more about this analysis here.
— Edited by Andy Beretvas