What is LHCb?

LHCb detector
Partially-built LHCb detector in its cavern. Image © CERN

The LHCb experiment is designed to study the decays of B mesons, particles containing b quarks, in order to investigate the asymmetry between matter and antimatter known as CP violation. LHCb physicists measure important CP violation properties and perhaps discover new subatomic mechanisms for the matter-antimatter imbalance, such as those proposed by supersymmetric theories.

LHCb physicists also search for never-before-seen particles and physics phenomena through their influence on rare decays of B mesons, and will use the experiment's unique technology to study the decay products of the yet-to-be-discovered Higgs boson.

B mesons are most likely to emerge from proton-proton collisions at an angle close to the beam direction. The 69-foot-long LHCb detector is constructed in layers and allows for the study of particles emitted in the forward direction. LHCb's key detector elements are a vertex detector to measure the tracks of charged particles close to the interaction region and ring-imaging Cherenkov, or RICH, detectors to identify different particle types.

The LHCb collaboration comprises 750 members from 48 universities and laboratories from 14 countries, including 15 scientists from Syracuse University.

Want to know more about how the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment relates to antimatter,  CP violations, and B mesons? See The Science of LHCb .