Flavour dynamics and CP violation in the SM*: A tale in five parts of great successes, little understanding and promise for the future!

Summary

Our knowledge of flavour dynamics has undergone a “quantum jump” since just before the turn of the millenium: direct CP violation has been firmly established in KL → ππ decays in 1999; the first CP asymmetry outside KL decays has been discovered in 2001 in BdψKs, followed by Bd → π+π, Bd → η'Ks and BK±π±, the latter establishing direct CP violation also in the beauty sector. Furthermore CKM dynamics allows a description of CP insensitive and sensitive B, K and D transitions that is impressively consistent also on the quantitative level. Theories of flavour dynamics that could serve as alternatives to CKM have been ruled out. Yet these novel successes of the Standard Model (SM) do not invalidate any of the theoretical arguments for the incompleteness of the SM. In addition we have also more direct evidence for New Physics, namely neutrino oscillations, the observed baryon number of the Universe, dark matter and dark energy. While the New Physics anticipated at the TeV scale is not likely to shed any light on the SM’s mysteries of flavour, detailed and comprehensive studies of heavy flavour transitions will be essential in diagnosing salient features of that New Physics. Strategic principles for such studies will be outlined. These lectures delivered in 2005 have been updated in particular with respect to the discovery of \({B_s} - {\overline B _s}\) and the strong evidence for \({D^0} - {\overline D ^0}\) oscillations.

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Acknowledgments

I want to thank my colleagues Profs. M. Giorgi, I. Mannelli, A. I. Sanda, F. Costantini and M. Sozzi for directing and organizing this school in such a splendid and most enjoyable setting and inviting me to it. it has been my second participation in a varenna summer school, and i have enjoyed it even more than the first time. i am also grateful to b. alzani and her team — r. brigatti, g. bianohi-bazzi and l. corengia— for the smooth day-to-day running of the school and help in many practical matters. i have benefitted from the hospitality extended to me at lal, orsay, and lpth, universite de paris sud, orsay, while i was preparing and later writing up these lectures. this work was supported by the nsf under grant number phy-0355098.

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Bigi, I.I. Flavour dynamics and CP violation in the SM*: A tale in five parts of great successes, little understanding and promise for the future!. Riv. Nuovo Cim. 30, 1–93 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1393/ncr/i2007-10017-7

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