CERN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CERN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Production & decay of two W particles in the OPAL detector at CERN, the particle physics laboratory near Geneva. The computer display shows OPAL in cross-section (green). An electron & positron, accelerated in CERN's LEP collider, annihilate at centre to produce two W particles. They live too briefly to be seen but reveal themselves by their decays. One W turns into a quark & antiquark which then produce two jets of particles (pale & dark blue tracks leading to yellow & magenta blocks). The other W decays to a muon (orange track, magenta block, red arrow) and an unseen muon- neutrino. The positive & negative W particles are carriers of the weak nuclear force.
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