TASSO EXPERIMENT, DESY / OXFORD NUCLEAR PHYSICS LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TASSO EXPERIMENT, DESY / OXFORD NUCLEAR PHYSICS LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Computer display of a "3+1" tau decay in the TASSO detector at the DESY particle physics laboratory, Hamburg. The small circle at centre represents the beam pipe in which an electron & a positron, accelerated in DESY's PETRA collider, have met & annihilated at the heart of the detector. Their energy materialises as a tau particle & an antitau which live too briefly to be visible themselves, but reveal their presence when they decay, the tau to 2 invisible neutrinos & a positive muon (single track), & the antitau to 3 three charged pions (3 tracks) & an invisible neutrino. The tau is a lep- ton, a heavy version of the electron & the muon.
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