Semileptonic decays of heavy mesons and the standard model
The formalism for a helicity amplitude analysis of the exclusive semileptonic decays of B mesons (B → Dlv and B → D* lv for l = e, µ and r) is introduced. In particular it is shown how measurements of the angular distribution of the subsequent decay D* → Dπ can fully determine the theoretically uncertain hadronic (B → D,D*) matrix elements. A spectator quark based model for the hadronic amplitudes is introduced, and then compared to other existing models and with the presently available experimental data, to extract the quark mixing matrix element |V(_eb)|. The extraction of |V(_ub)|, using exclusive models for b → u decays, is also discussed. The predictions of the free-quark model of inclusive semileptonic B decays are compared with those of the exclusive models, in an attempt to test the reliability of the inclusive model's predictions for |V(_eb)| and |V(_ub)|. A phenomenological analysis of experimental measurements of K(^0) – K(^0) and B(^0) – B(0) mixing is made, incorporating the above determinations of the mixing matrix elements, with a view to constraining the parameters of the standard model, such as the mass of the top-quark.