Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Discrepancies in CKM Matrix Measurements Not Due To New Physics

Two different ways of measuring two of the nine CKM matrix elements (the charm quark to bottom quark and the up quark to bottom quark elements; both of which are tiny relative to the top quark to bottom quark element in this unitary matrix) have produced inconsistent results at a 3sigma plus level.

But, a careful analysis of the kind of new physics that would be necessary to replicate this behavior shows that there is only one theoretically consistent way of achieving the experimentally observed data.  The only approach that can fit this data, however, has other implications that much more accurate measurements rule out.  Therefore, the analysis appropriately concludes that the apparent discrepancy in the two different ways of measuring these CKM matrix elements is due to underestimated systemic errors (by 50% or more), rather than new physics.

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