A lepton is an elementary particle and a fundamental

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A lepton is an elementary particle and a fundamental

Post by jancancook on Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:35 am

A lepton is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter.[1] The best known of all leptons is the electron which governs nearly all of chemistry as it is found in atoms and is directly tied to all chemical properties. Two main classes of leptons exist: charged leptons (also known as the electron-like leptons), and neutral leptons (better known as neutrinos). Charged leptons can combine with other particles to form various composite particles such as atoms and positronium, while neutrinos rarely interact with anything, and are consequently rarely observed.
There are six types of leptons, known as flavours, forming three generations.[2] The first generation is the electronic leptons, comprising the electron (e−
) and electron neutrino (ν
e); the second is the muonic leptons, comprising the muon (μ−
) and muon neutrino (ν
μ); and the third is the tauonic leptons, comprising the tau (τ−
) and the tau neutrino (ν
τ). Electrons have the least mass of all the charged leptons. The heavier muons and taus will rapidly change into electrons through a process of particle decay: the transformation from a higher mass state to a lower mass state. Thus electrons are stable and the most common charged lepton in the universe, whereas muons and taus can only be produced in high energy collisions (such as those involving cosmic rays and those carried out in particle accelerators).

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