Force bosons can be created and destroyed in the annihilation and creation of particles and antiparticles. In the Tevatron, a quark and an anti-quark from the proton and anti-proton beams can annihilate to produce a Z° boson
, which almost immediately decays to a particle and its antiparticle.
The decay of the Z° boson can occur in several ways:
- Hadronic decay
- The Z° boson decays to a quark / anti-quark pair
- The quarks then
decay into a pair of hadron jets.
- Often, decay to a bottom-quark/anti-bottom-quark pair can be distinguished
from decay to other quark types.
- 'Visible' leptonic decay
- The Z° boson decays to a
charged lepton / anti-lepton pair
- Tauons decay very quickly to other particles
and so they are not directly detected
- Electrons and muons do not decay too quickly and can be detected directly
- 'Invisible' leptonic decay
- Neutrinos do not interact with matter very strongly and they are
not detected by DØ, however their existence can be inferred by the measuring the
momentum of particles before and after a collision. Since conservation
of momentum is required, any missing momentum after the collision has
been carried away by the undetectable neutrinos.