One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A former monetary unit of Greece used only in calculations, worth one hundredth of a drachma.
From Greek lepton, neuter of leptos ‘small’.
A subatomic particle, such as an electron, muon, or neutrino, which does not take part in the strong interaction.
- ‘These infinitesimal particles are usually grouped into four main categories: the mesons, the baryons, the leptons, and the photons (the most basic unit of electromagnetic radiation).’
- ‘There are small subatomic particles called leptons.’
- ‘Quarks and charged leptons also feel the electromagnetic force, and quarks feel the strong force.’
- ‘Like quarks and leptons, the Higgs particle also derives its mass from coupling to the Higgs condensate.’
- ‘Finally, the EM force acts on electrically charged particles: charged leptons (like electrons), and charged force carriers.’
1940s: from Greek leptos ‘small’ + -on.
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