The most familiar subatomic particle is the electron, which is a member of a class of particles called the charged lepton. In addition, there are two cousin particles, the muon and the tau lepton. In this nine-minute video, episode 3 of the Subatomic Stories series, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln takes us on a whirlwind tour of these interesting particles and answers questions from previous videos.

With this six-minute video, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln launches a special series called Subatomic Stories. You will learn a little bit about both the exciting subatomic world and the entire cosmos — and see how the two are inextricably linked. Each episode will focus on a specific topic, but the series will tell a much broader story.

Did the title make you think of powerful people and wonder who the second and third families are? This is a science corner, and these families are elementary particles.

Looking forward

Which directions do postcollision electrons take at the Large Hadron Collider, and how often do they go one way versus another? The answer gives a way to probe electroweak theory.

Are leptons more like rocks or hornet’s nests? CMS set out to find whether leptons might have any component parts by colliding them at very high energies.