STANFORD LINEAR ACCELERATOR CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STANFORD LINEAR ACCELERATOR CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Electronic display of charmed particle decay in the Mark I detector at the Stanford Linear Accel- erator Center, California. The octagon outlines a cross-section through the detector. An electron & a positron have collided at the centre, annihilat- ing into pure energy which rematerialises as a charmed meson particle, the psi-prime. This lives too briefly to be visible, but it decays to two pions (curving tracks) & a second charmed meson, the J/psi. The J/psi also lives too briefly to be seen, but betrays itself by decaying to a positron & electron (straight tracks). Fittingly, the whole decay pattern forms the Greek character psi.
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