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Stanford Positron Electron Asymmetric Ring

Photo Date: 15 April 1976
Photo Number: 271 001 002

On April 28, 1972 - the Stanford Positron Electron Asymmetric Ring, first collided a beam of high-energy electrons with a beam of positrons. The SPEAR facility began its career in high energy physics and found a second reincarnation as a national user facility for synchrotron radiation research. Research done at this colliding beam storage ring led scientists to discoveries of new particles resulting in two Nobel Prizes. The experimental evidence for the charmed quark or J/psi particle, indicated the existence of the charm quark. Often called "the November Revolution" this discovery confirmed a prediction of the Standard Model Theory setting it, and the very idea of quarks, on a much firmer experimental basis. The discovery of the tau lepton showed the existence of a third family of leptons - hitherto unexpected by all but a few.

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Updated Tuesday, December 30, 1997 10:19:25 AM