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Observation of Time-Reversal Violation in the B0 Meson System


Although CP violation in the B meson system has been well established by the B factories, there has been no direct observation of time-reversal violation. The decays of entangled neutral B mesons into definite flavor states (B(0) or B(0)), and J/ψK(L)(0) or ccK(S)(0) final states (referred to as B(+) or B(-)), allow comparisons between the probabilities of four pairs of T-conjugated transitions, for example, B(0) → B(-) and B(-) → B(0), as a function of the time difference between the two B decays. Using 468 × 10(6) BB pairs produced in Υ(4S) decays collected by the BABAR detector at SLAC, we measure T-violating parameters in the time evolution of neutral B mesons, yielding ΔS(T)(+) = -1.37 ± 0.14(stat) ± 0.06(syst) and ΔS(T)(-) = 1.17 ± 0.18(stat) ± 0.11(syst). These nonzero results represent the first direct observation of T violation through the exchange of initial and final states in transitions that can only be connected by a T-symmetry transformation.

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