When an electron and positron (antielectron)
collide at high energy, they can annihilate to produce
charm quarks which then produce
D+ and D- mesons.
- Frame 1: The electron and positron zoom towards their certain doom.
- Frame 2: They collide and annihilate,
releasing tremendous amounts of energy.
- Frame 3: The electron and positron
have annihilated into a photon, or a
Z particle, both of which may be
virtual force carrier particles.
- Frame 4: A charm quark and a charm
antiquark emerge from the virtual force carrier particle.
- Frame 5: They begin moving apart, stretching the
color force field (gluon field) between them.
- Frame 6: The quarks move apart, further spreading their force field.
- Frame 7: The energy in the
force field increases with the separation between the quarks.
When there is sufficient energy in the
force field, the energy is converted into a
quark and an anti-quark
- Frames 8-10: The quarks separate into
distinct, color-neutral particles: the
(a charm and anti-down quark) and
(an anti-charm and down quark) mesons.
The intermediate stages
of this process occur in about a
billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second, and are not observable.