Hints of a discrepancy between matter and antimatter have since been found in the behavior of other particles called B mesons, in experiments at CERN and elsewhere.
“In the larger picture, CP violation is a big deal,” Dr. Turner said. “It is why we are here!”
Both kaons and B mesons are made of quarks, the same kinds of particles that make up protons and neutrons, the building blocks of ordinary matter. But so far there is not enough of a violation on the part of quarks, by a factor of a billion, to account for the existence of the universe today.
Neutrinos could change that. “Many theorists believe that finding CP violation and studying its properties in the neutrino sector could be important for understanding one of the great cosmological mysteries,” said Guy Wilkinson, a physicist at Oxford who works on CERN’s LHCb experiment, which is devoted to the antimatter problem. Chief among those mysteries, he said: “Why didn’t all matter and antimatter annihilate in the Big Bang?”