What is a LEPTON?

I guess that could be the first question you might have if you stumbled on these web pages.

Let's first say that your familiar, everyday electron is a lepton. Electrons are familar because their movement through your electronic devices is what powers them.

What are electrons like ?

For one thing, they all have the same amount of electrical charge. This sounds familiar since we know that electricity can give things an electrical charge which can sometimes zap us. Because they have a charge, they are attracted to oppositely charged objects like protons, and become bound into atoms which make up all the stuff around us like chocolate or computers.

More leptons like electrons

There are two more particles that are identical to electrons, but more massive. These don't exist in our every day life because massive particles are unstable and typically decay into particles which have less mass whenever they can. These two particles are also leptons, one being called the "muon" which has a mass 200 times more than an electron, and one called the "tau" which has a mass 3500 times more than the electron.

More leptons not really like electrons

Each of the three charged leptons above has a rather silent partner called a neutrino. These three neutrinos have no charge, and because they are rather silent when it comes to trying to notice them, only recently have we really learned that they have mass.