BaBar is a High Energy Physics experiment located at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, near Stanford University, in California. The experiment recently concluded its data taking, and has entered the final phase of analyzing the complete data set.
The goal of the experiment is to study violation of the product of parity and charge parity symmetries (CP violation). CP violation manifests itself as a difference in the decays of particles and anti-particles. The observation of CP violation is the first step to explain the near-absence of anti-particles in the universe as we know it.
To reach the goal of the experiment, BaBar was designed and operated as a production factory of B mesons. The experiment exploited asymmetric beam collisions of a 9.1 GeV electron beam and a 3.0 GeV positron beam created using the PEP-II accelerator. The two beams collide in the center of the BaBar detector pictured here, producing Y(4S) mesons which decay into equal numbers of B and anti-B mesons. Although the experiment was built to be a "B-factory", it is also a tau and charm factory, producing millions of tau and charm decays.
Here at the University of South Carolina, our BaBar research program mainly focuses on precision measurements with decays of charm mesons. Why Charm? Not only does the BaBar experiment boast one of the world's largest data sets of charm decays, but the charm sector is relatively unexplored for CP violation and may well have hidden secrets.
The success of the charm physics program at BaBar is evident in the recent discovery of mixing in neutral D mesons.
BaBar Research Group at the University of South Carolina
Charm Physics Program
Charm physics at USC has a long history, going back to the days of fixed target experiments at Fermilab. Many physics interests which arose during the second era of charm physics are now being revisited. The data collected from the BaBar experiment has the statistical sensitivity to probe for new physics beyond Standard Model, and provide more insight into light hadron resonances which dominate multi-body decays of Charm mesons. Our group recently concluded the study of semi-leptonic decay Form Factors, and we are currently looking for evidence of Direct CP violation in the singly-Cabibbo suppresed Dalitz decay mode of the D+ meson. Additionally, we are pursuing the study of coupled ssbar states in the low-mass region of KKbar. [top]
ATLAS Research Group at the University of South Carolina