The term "asymmetric" refers to the fact that the e- and e+ energies are not equal. This results in a collision center of mass which is moving in the laboratory. The motion of the center of mass is crucial for the study of the matter versus anti-matter discrepancy discussed below.
The construction of PEP-II is a collaboration of SLAC, LBL, and LLNL.
A new detector, BABAR is being constructed to take advantage of the high-intensity collisions.
The B-Factory facility, PEP-II and BABAR, will pursue a broad agenda of physics involving the heavy quark and heavy lepton sector. At full luminosity, PEP-II will produce about 1E8 b and c quarks, and roughly the same number of tau's per year.
In particular, the B-Factory will pursue the question of why we live in a matter-dominated Universe. At the beginning of the Big Bang, matter and anti-matter were produced in equal amounts -- what tipped the balance in favor of matter? Understanding the mechanism is crucial if we are to have a full understanding of the evolution of our Universe. A small imbalance in the matter to anti-matter ratio at primordial times, one part in about 1E9, would suffice. In such a situation, all the matter and anti-matter, except the tiny unpaired excess, would have annihilated to form photons (which we can detect now). The unpaired excess, all matter, evolved to form the Universe.
To substantiate this paradigm, we need experimental evidence that conclusively establishes the mechanism responsible for creating the tiny matter excess. There are several competing theoretical models for this mechanism. The main role for the B-Factory will be to make a broad set of measurements capable of confronting the crucial question of what happened to all the anti-matter. It is fascinating to realize that with the B-Factory, we will be able to confront crucial physics issues which took place less than 1E-34 seconds after the start of the Big Bang.
Last updated 19 May 1998
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