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Keywords:

  • PACS numbers: 23.40.Bw;
  • 12.15.Hh;
  • 12.60.-i

The Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa (CKM) quark-mixing matrix is a central pillar of the Electroweak Standard Model. The elements of the matrix must be determined from experiment, but the Model requires the matrix itself to be unitary. Any deviation from unitarity would signal the presence of “new physics” beyond the Standard Model, so tests of CKM unitarity have attracted considerable attention. Currently the most precise test is of the normalization of the top row, which has now reached a precision of 0.06% based on measurements of superallowed 0+inline image nuclear β decay and of kaon semileptonic and leptonic decays. This work overviews the status of the normalization tests and speculates on likely future improvements.