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First observation of the rare purely baryonic decay $B^0 \to p \bar{p}$

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Abstract

The first observation of the decay of a $B^0$ meson to a purely baryonic final state, $B^0 \to p \bar{p}$, is reported. The proton-proton collision data sample used was collected with the LHCb experiment at center-of-mass energies of 7 and 8 TeV and corresponds to an integrated luminosity of 3.0 fb$^{-1}$. The branching fraction is determined to be $${\cal B}(B^0 \to p \bar{p}) = ( 1.25 \pm 0.27 \pm 0.18 ) \times 10^{-8} ,$$ where the first uncertainty is statistical and the second systematic. The decay mode $B^0 \to p \bar{p}$ is the rarest decay of the $B^0$ meson observed to date. The decay $B_s^0 \to p \bar{p}$ is also investigated. No signal is seen and the upper limit ${\cal B}(B_s^0 \to p \bar{p}) < 1.5 \times 10^{-8}$ at 90% confidence level is set on the branching fraction.

Figures and captions

Invariant mass distribution of $ p \overline p $ candidates. The fit result (blue, solid line) is shown together with each fit model component: the $ B ^0 \!\rightarrow p \overline p $ signal (red, dashed line), the $ B ^0_ s \!\rightarrow p \overline p $ signal (grey, dashed line) and the combinatorial background (green, dotted line).

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Invariant mass distribution of $ K ^\pm \pi ^\mp $ candidates. The fit result (blue, solid line) is shown together with each fit model component.

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Supplementary Material [file]

Supplementary material full pdf

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Created on 11 December 2018.Citation count from INSPIRE on 11 December 2018.