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It's an exciting time to be in particle physics

So recently we discussed the speculation that University of Birmingham researchers may well have discovered the Higgs boson. Along with three thousand other researchers at CERN in Geneva.

Today we bring you the latest news from the T2K experiment in Japan which has heavy involvement from the University of Warwick. And it's more exciting news in particle physics.

In September we visited the lab, you can read more about our trip here and more about the research here. But to cut a long story short this research is important to understand just why our universe is like it is and in particular why it's made of matter at all.

At the big bang equal amounts of matter and anti-matter should have been created and then instantly annihilated each other leaving nothing. Of course that didn't happen and since our world is made of matter it's pretty obvious there was an imbalance. More matter than antimatter.

We think it's a difference between the neutrino and anti-neutrino that's at the bottom of this imbalance and that's why the behaviour of the neutrino is of so much interest to scientists.

First result from T2K experiment showing electron-neutrino event

Today we are able to show you this picture for the first time. It's the first result from the Warwick experiment. It shows one of six neutrino events the scientists have been able to measure. That's four and a half more than they were expecting! (The bright arc is the important bit)

Of course since this data was gathered Japan has been through the earthquake and tsunami. The laboratory where the Warwick experiment was based was lucky in that no one was injured or killed, but it has been shifted a metre to the right.

It's a tribute to the resilience and bravery of the Japanese people that this experiment is being repaired and the hope is it will be gathering data once again by the new year. I often say science is an extraordinary achievement, but in this case it's doubly so.

The paper itself is pretty accessible and you can find it here. Or if you prefer, there's a press release here.


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