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An international team of physicists has published ground-breaking research on the decay of subatomic particles called kaons -- which could change how scientists understand the formation of the universe.

Professor Christopher Sachrajda, from the Southampton Theory Astrophysics and Gravity Research Centre at the University of Southampton, has helped to devise the first calculation of how the behaviour of kaons differs when matter is swapped out for antimatter, known as direct "CP" symmetry violation.

Should the calculation not match experimental results, it would be conclusive evidence of new, unknown phenomena that lie outside of the Standard Model-physicists' present understanding of the fundamental particles and the forces between them.

The current result, reported in Physical Review Letters, does not yet indicate such a difference between experiment and theory, but scientists expect the precision of the calculation to improve dramatically now that they've proven they can tackle the task.

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