Tuesday, February 07, 2017

[cqluwcao] The lighter particle was harder to make

It is curious that the Higgs boson, mass 125 GeV, was finally first seen at the LHC which has 8 TeV (maybe 7) collision energy, whereas the top quark with greater mass 172 GeV was seen earlier at the Tevatron with its only 1.96 TeV collision energy.

Electron-positron colliders tend to be more efficient in terms of converting collision energy into particle mass, but as best as I can tell, neither particle was seen at the LEP which had collision energy 209 GeV.  This might be explained by energy being converted into mass must be produced as matter-antimatter pairs (more generically, some collection that will decay and annihilate back to no mass), so even a perfectly efficient LEP will max out at particle mass 104.5 GeV.

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