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Penguin Decays of B Mesons


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 --> s gamma and B-->K* gamma and gluonic penguins B --> K pi, B+ -->wK+ and B --> n'K, and their implications for the Standard Model and New Physics. We conclude by exploring the future prospects for penguin physics.

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