York researcher closer to solving matter-antimatter assymetry

What happened to the antimatter that was created at the birth of the universe? Researchers at York University claim to have a clue after reportedly observing the first direct indication of spontaneous transitions of subatomic particles, reported photonics.com April 5. (The American Web site is dedicated to covering the photonics industry.) Wendy Taylor, York’s Canada Research Chair in experimental particle physics, is among a group of a dozen researchers from around the globe who have directly determined, for the first time, the frequency at which a rare particle spontaneously transforms from matter to antimatter and back.

For decades, scientists have wrestled with the mystery of how our universe of matter survived the Big Bang, which theoretically generated matter and antimatter in equal amounts; they theorize that both should have annihilated into pure energy. The researchers’ experiment has made an important contribution to improving the understanding of the preponderance of matter over antimatter in the universe.

Taylor said she and her DZero colleagues had hoped the frequency of the oscillations would turn out to be much higher, which would indicate new physical processes that could explain the antimatter mystery. But she said they are “very excited by the result. As soon as we realized our experiment was sensitive enough to set a two-sided bound on the oscillation frequency, we worked around the clock to get the analysis finalized and the paper submitted. It would have been fantastic if we could have said that we have the answer to the matter-antimatter asymmetry problem, but it just means that particle physicists still have lots of important work to do.”

Private tutor released on bail

A chemistry tutor accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old York University student was released on $3,000 bail Thursday, reported The Toronto Sun April 7. Aijaz Baig, 35, charged with three counts of sexual assault, stood with his hands behind his back, shifting his gaze to the floor at times, as the allegations were read in a North York courtroom. There was a publication ban on Thursday’s hearing. Among the conditions of his release, Baig is not to set foot on the York campus or tutor female students. Toronto Police allege there were three separate assaults on the 18-year-old student in secluded areas of the campus. Police said the accused ran a private business called Tutors 101.

York University spokesman Alex Bilyk said the accused is “not a member of the York community” and he was “absolutely not aware” of the Tutors 101 service. “There are people who pass themselves off as tutors,” he said. Bilyk said police at 31 Division launched their investigation after the student reported the alleged assaults to campus security.

News of the charges aired Thursday on Toronto radio and TV, including “AM640 News”, “680 News”, “Global News”, “OMNI News”, the Italian “Studio Aperto” and the Portuguese “Telejornal”.

York student wins traders award

York second-year international studies student Alan Pelizer won bronze in the student achievement category at the eighth annual Central Ontario Region Global Traders Awards, held in Barrie, reported the Barrie Examiner April 7. The Central Ontario Region Global Traders Awards recognize the most innovative and successful small and medium-sized enterprises, business leaders and students. Top winners compete for provincial awards in May.

Winners of French public speaking contest to compete at Glendon

The first-place winners of the annual Concours d’art oratoire du conseil scolaire regional de Bluewater held March 29 in Chesley will go on to the provincial Concours d’art oratoire which is sponsored by Canadian Parents for French and hosted by York’s Glendon College on May 13, reported The Hanover Post April 7.