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Association between W Boson Decay and Leptons

  1. Feb 23, 2016 #1
    As a physics A Level student, I am interested in understanding particle physics. Recently I have read that a W boson, as a relatively heavy particle, decays into one of three charged anti-leptons, and one of the three neutrinos. If a W boson decays to form an anti-tau lepton, it will also form a tau neutrino. Is the association of electrons, muons and tau particles with their 'corresponding' neutrinos purely based on this decay of W bosons?
     
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  3. Feb 23, 2016 #2

    ohwilleke

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    W bosons decay into every possible combination of particles that is permitted by the conservation laws.
     
  4. Feb 23, 2016 #3
    Thanks so is the decay of a W boson not restricted to an anti-lepton and it's neutrino?
     
  5. Feb 23, 2016 #4

    Orodruin

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    You can also decay into quarks.

    If you decay into a (anti-)lepton, the produced neutrino is always of the same flavour. This is what defines neutrino flavour.

    Edit: And by "you" I mean the W ...
     
  6. Feb 23, 2016 #5

    mfb

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    The other option is quark plus antiquark.
    Or via other process that involve real or virtual W bosons. In the Standard Model, those are the only interactions that convert elementary particles into other particles.

    Edit: For clarification: particle+antiparticle -> something else is not meant here, that happens via other bosons as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  7. Feb 23, 2016 #6

    Orodruin

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    I could have sworn Peskin-Schröder had an early example of electromagnetic ##e^+e^-\rightarrow\mu^+\mu^-## scattering ...
    Anyway, I know what you mean, but an entry level student might not.
     
  8. Feb 23, 2016 #7

    ohwilleke

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  9. Feb 24, 2016 #8
    Thank you, this is all really useful :-)
     
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