The Experimental Discovery of CP Violation

  • James W. Cronin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 746)


[This address was presented by JamesW. Cronin as the NishinaMemorial Lecture at the University of Tokyo, and at Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in September, 1993.] The discovery of CP violation was a complete surprise to the experimentalists that found it as well as to the physics community at large. This small effect means that the symmetry means that the symmetry between the behavior of matter and antimatter is not exact. The experiment that made the discovery was not motivated by the idea that such a violation might exist. I will describe in some detail how it came to be performed in the context of of the fast moving pace of particle physics in 1963. I will review how we actually did the experiment using extracts from personal notebooks. I will discuss some difficulties we had with the apparatus and the anxiety some of us had to be sure we were correct. Such considerations are rarely revealed in a formal publication but are the realities of doing science. I will then discuss the aftermath of the experiment and the great efforts that continue to this day to understand the origin of the CP violation, which remains a mystery. The search for the origin of CP violation motivates many of the proposals for new particle facilities.


Decay Mode Neutron Monitor Partial Rate Charge Conjugation Bubble Chamber 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    O. Klein and Y. Nishina, Z. Physik 52 (1929) 853CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. K. Adair, “CP Non Conservation- The Early Experiments”,Proceedings of the Blois Conference on CP Violation in Particle Physics And Astrophysics, ed. J. Tran Thanh Van, Editions Erontiéres,(1990) p 37 ; A. Pais,“CP Violation- The First 25 Years”, ibid, p 3; J. W. Cronfn, Physics Today 35 (July 1982) 38 ; V. L. Fitch “Symmetries in Physics (1600-1980)”,Proceedings of the Conference at San Felice de Guixols, Spain(1983) ed. M. Doncel, University of Barcelona,1987; A. Franklin, Historical Studies of the Physical Sciences 13 (1983) ,207Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    M. Gell-Mann and A. Pais, Phys. Rev. 97 (1955) 1387CrossRefMathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Gell-Mann, Phys. Rev. 92 (1953) 833.CrossRefMathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    T. Nakano and K. Nishijima, Prog. Theo. Phys. 10 (1953) 581CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    K. Lande, E. T. Booth, J. Impeduglia, L.M. Lederman, andW. Chinowsky, Phys. Rev. 103 (1956) 1901.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    D. Neagu, E. O. Okonov, N. I. Okonov, N. I. Petrov, A. M. Rosanova, and V. A. Rusakov, Phys. Rev. Lett. 6 (1961) 552.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    T. D. Lee, R. Oehme, and C. N. Yang, Phys. Rev. 106 (1957) 340.MATHCrossRefMathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. Pais and O. Piccioni, Phys. Rev. 100 (1955) 1487.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. H. Good, R. P. Matsen, F. Muller, O. Piccioni, W. M. Powell, H. S. White, W.B. Fowler, and R. W. Birge, Phys. Rev. 124 (1961) 1223.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    L. B. Leipuner, W Chinowsky, R. Crittenden, R. Adair, B Musgrave, and F. T. Shively, Phys. Rev. 132 (1963) 2285.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    V.Pitch and R. Motley, Phys. Rev. 105 (1957) 265.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    W. K. H. Panofsky, V. L. Fitch, R. M. Motley, andW. G. Chesnut, Phys. Rev 109 (1958) 1353.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    A. R. Clark, J. H. Christenson, J.W. Cronin, and R. Turlay, Phys. Rev. 139 (1965) B1557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    S. Fukui and M. Miyamoto, Nuovo CimentO ll (1959) 113.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    J. W. Cronin and G. Renninger, Proceedings of the International Conference on Instrumentation for High Energy Physics (Interscience Publishers Inc.,New York, 1961) (1960) 271.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    J. H. Christenson, A. R. Clark, and J. W. Cronin, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci. NS-ll (June 1964) 310.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    L. Creegie, J. D. Fox, H. Frauenfelder,A. O. Hanson, G. Moscati, C. F. Perdrisat, and I. Todoroff, Phys. Rev. Lett. 17 (1966) 150.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    J. H. Christenson, J W. Cronin, V. L. Fitch, and R. Turlay, Phys. Rev. Lett. 13 (1964) 138.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    T. T. Wu and C. N. Yang, Phys. Rev. Lett. 13, 380 (1964):CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    A. Abashian, R.J. Abrams, D. W. Carpenter, G. P. Fisher, B. M. K. Nefkens, and J. H. Smith, Phys. Rev. Lett. 13 (1964) 243.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    V. L. Fitch, R. F. Roth, I. Russ, and W. Vernon, Phys. Rev. Lett. 15 (1965)73.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    J. Marx et al., Phys. Lett. 32B (1970) 219.ADSGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    L. Wolfenstein, Phys. Rev. Lett. 13 (1964) 562.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    L. K. Gibbons et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 70 (1993) 1203.CrossRefMathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    G. Barr, Proceedings of the Joint International Lepton-Photon Symposium and EurophysicsConference onHigh Energy Physics (World Scientfic), eds S. Hegarty, K. Potter, E. Quercigh 1 (1991) 179.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    N. Cabbibo, Phys. Rev. Lett. 10 (1963) 531CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    M. Kobayashi, and T. Maskawa, Prog. of Theor. Phys. 49 (1973) 652.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    B. Winstein and L. Wolfenstein, Rev. Mod. Phys. to be published.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    SLAC Reports 0359, 0372 (1991);Cornell reportsCLNS-91-1043, 1047, 1050(1991); Report KEK Task Force Report on Asymmetric B Factory at KEK,(Feb 1990)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    A. D. Sakharov Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. Pis’ma Red. 5 (1967) 32; [JETP Lett. 5(1967) 24].ADSGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    M. Yoshimura, Phys. Rev. Lett 41 (1978) 281.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    R. D. Peccei, Proceedings of the Blois Conference on CP Violation in Particle Physics and Astrophysics, ed. I. Tran Thanh Van, Editions Ftontiéres (1990) p615.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    H. Krauch and F.Vester, Naturewissenschaten 44 (1957) 49.ADSGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    R. A. Hegstrom, A. Rich and J.Van House, Nature 313 (1985) 391.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    J. W. Cronin, Rev. Mod. Phys. 53 (1981) 373.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Nishina Memorial Foundation 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Cronin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations