The lepton number is used to denote which particles are leptons and which particles are not. Each lepton has a lepton number of 1 and each antilepton has a lepton number of -1. Periodic Table
In particle physics, the lepton number is used to denote which particles are leptons and which particles are not. Each lepton has a lepton number of 1 and each antilepton has a lepton number of -1. Other non-leptonic particles have a lepton number of 0. The lepton number is a conserved quantum number in all particle reactions. A slight asymmetry in the laws of physics allowed leptons to be created in the Big Bang.
The conservation of lepton number means that whenever a lepton of a certain generation is created or destroyed in a reaction, a corresponding antilepton from the same generation must be created or destroyed. It must be added, there is a separate requirement for each of the three generations of leptons, the electron, muon and tau and their associated neutrinos.
Example: Electron Capture
Consider the electron capture mode. The reaction involves only first generation leptons: electrons and neutrinos:
The antineutrinocannot be emitted, because in this case the conservation law would not be fulfilled. The particle emitted with the neutron must be a neutrino.
Example: Neutron Decay
Consider the decay of the neutron. The reaction involves only first generation leptons: electrons and neutrinos:
Since the lepton number must be equal to zero on both sides and it was found that the reaction is a three-particle decay (the electrons emitted in beta decay have a continuous rather than a discrete spectrum), the third particle must be an electron antineutrino.
Example: Muon Decay
The observation of the following decay reaction leads to the conclusion that there is a separate lepton number for muons which must also be conserved.
This is in fact the most common decay mode of the –.
Nuclear and Reactor Physics:
J. R. Lamarsh, Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Theory, 2nd ed., Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA (1983).
J. R. Lamarsh, A. J. Baratta, Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 3d ed., Prentice-Hall, 2001, ISBN: 0-201-82498-1.
W. M. Stacey, Nuclear Reactor Physics, John Wiley & Sons, 2001, ISBN: 0- 471-39127-1.
Robert Reed Burn, Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Operation, 1988.
U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Physics and Reactor Theory. DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Volume 1 and 2. January 1993.
Advanced Reactor Physics:
K. O. Ott, W. A. Bezella, Introductory Nuclear Reactor Statics, American Nuclear Society, Revised edition (1989), 1989, ISBN: 0-894-48033-2.
K. O. Ott, R. J. Neuhold, Introductory Nuclear Reactor Dynamics, American Nuclear Society, 1985, ISBN: 0-894-48029-4.
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E. E. Lewis, W. F. Miller, Computational Methods of Neutron Transport, American Nuclear Society, 1993, ISBN: 0-894-48452-4.
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