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The Experimental Foundations of Particle Physics, Second Edition by Gerson Goldhaber, Robert N. Cahn

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9

The J /ψ, the τ, and Charm

New forms of matter, 1974–1976.

In November 1974, Burton Richter at SLAC and Samuel Ting at Brookhaven were leading two very different experiments, one studying e+e annihilation, the other the e+e pairs produced in proton–beryllium collisions. Their simultaneous discovery of a new resonance with a mass of 3.1 GeV so profoundly altered particle physics that the period is often referred to as the “November Revolution.” Word of the discoveries spread throughout the high energy physics community on November 11 and soon much of its research was directed towards the new particles.

Ting led a group from MIT and Brookhaven measuring the rate of production of e+e pairs in collisions of protons on a beryllium target. The ...

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