University of Jyväskylä

French – Finnish effort to solve the open question of matter – antimatter asymmetry in the Universe

Researchers at the Department of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä are participating in an international collaboration with research groups from France to solve the open question of the matter – antimatter asymmetry in the Universe.

One of the fundamental open questions in physics is connected to the matter – antimatter asymmetry of the Universe. The Big Bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter, however almost everything we see around us from the smallest to the largest scale is made of matter. Precision experiments on nuclear beta decay complement high-energy physics experiments in searches for signatures of physics beyond the Standard Model. These signatures may arise through violations of symmetries in nature, for example a measurement of a specific correlation parameter in beta decay would infer an asymmetry in time (T), which through the known Charge-Parity-Time (CPT) symmetry must therefore break Charge-Parity (CP). It is the search for a possible CP violation which might explain the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe. 

accelerator laboratory
Local researchers working at the heart of the IGISOL facility.

The Accelerator Laboratory of the University of Jyväskylä, JYFL-ACCLAB, will host a new project, MORA (Matter’s Origin from the RadioActivity of trapped and polarized isotopes) aiming at a measure of T asymmetry in the beta decay of 23Mg. The project, led by Dr. Pierre Delahaye from GANIL, France, has recently been supported by 600k€ of funding from the Region Normandie. The first phase of the experiment will be performed over the coming years in the Accelerator Laboratory, and will exploit state-of-the-art techniques of laser polarization and ion trapping, combined with nuclear beta detection, to make a first measurement at the IGISOL facility. A final phase of the experiment will be performed after 2022 at the DESIR facility, SPIRAL-2 accelerator complex, in France. Professor Iain Moore leading this project from Department of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä says that “this new project strengthens the strategy of the Accelerator Laboratory to maintain its science output at the highest international level”. The Accelerator Laboratory is unique research environment in Finland and abroad.

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