Penguin decays of B mesons

Karen Lingel, Tomasz Skwarnicki, James G. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Penguin, or loop, decays of B mesons induce effective flavor-changing neutral currents, which are forbidden at tree level in the standard model. These decays give special insight into the CKM matrix and are sensitive to non-standard-model effects. In this review, we give a historical and theoretical introduction to penguins and a description of the various types of penguin processes: electromagnetic, electroweak, and gluonic. We review the experimental searches for penguin decays, including the measurements of the electromagnetic penguins b → sγ and B → K*γ and gluonic penguins B → Kπ, B+ → ωK+ and B → η′K, and their implications for the standard model and new physics. We conclude by exploring the future prospects for penguin physics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-306
Number of pages54
JournalAnnual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • CP violation
  • Charmless
  • Loop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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