An international collaboration of scientists, including Thomas Blum, associate professor of physics, is reporting in landmark detail the decay process of a subatomic particle called a kaon – information that may help answer fundamental questions about how the universe began.
The research, reported online in the March 30, 2012 Physical Review Letters, used breakthrough techniques on some of the world’s fastest supercomputers to expand on a 1964 Nobel Prize-winning experiment. A new generation of IBM supercomputers now being installed will allow scientists to calculate the decay in even more detail.
Examining the decay of the kaon offers insights into fundamental problems in physics.
“This calculation brings us closer to answering fundamental questions about how matter formed in the early universe and why we, and everything else we observe today, are made of matter and not anti-matter,” says Blum, a co-author of the paper.