Heavy quark decays

R. A. Poling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The past several years have seen steady progress on a broad program of Standard Model tests in B decays, but there remains much to be done. The embarrassment of the Z0/γ(4S) disagreement on the B semileptonic branching fraction has eased. The basic experimental observation that there are too few semileptonic decays for the observed multiplicity of charm quarks is still with us, but it is not of crisis proportions. Theoretical tools for describing semileptonic decays have matured, but underlying assumptions like quark-hadron duality must be scrutinized. Hints of inconsistency between HQET-inspired interpretations of CLEO's hadronic-mass and lepton-energy moments in semileptonic B decays are troubling. A great deal more data and a great deal of work will be required to reach a final conclusion on the values of V(ub) and V(cb). Intensive theory/experiment collaboration is a big plus. In rare B decays, we have a number of major developments. The decay B → ππ has been observed, and the rare hadronic decay picture is filling in with more measurements and tighter limits. We stand on the verge of truly powerful tests of the Standard Model. First, efforts to measure CP asymmetries and CDF's first measurement of sin2β are opening salvoes in the next phase of the campaign to make redundant measurements of the sides and angles of the unitarity triangle. So far, fits to the usual experimental constraints show the Standard Model to be holding up well, but this is only the beginning. The exciting future of heavy flavor physics is well documented elsewhere in these proceedings. The three e+e- B factories, complemented by the upgraded Tevatron detectors, will produce a wealth of new physics. It is to be hoped that these facilities, their successor e+e- machines of still higher luminosity, and specialized detectors at hadron colliders, will carry us well beyond the Standard Model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-79
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics A
Issue numberSUPPL. 1A
StatePublished - 2000


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