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I understand that the heavier quarks, charm/strange/top/bottom, are short lived and decay into other particles. But how are they "created" in the first place? Do other particles combine in a collision to create them somehow? I'm only assuming they are "created" because they decay so quickly.

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    $\begingroup$ BTW, you can't make quarks by combining other particles, because (as far as we know) quarks are fundamental, that is, they aren't composed of simpler parts. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Sep 8 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ PM 2Ring, my question was only for heavier quarks. Which, from the answers below, seem to be "created" and decay very quickly. $\endgroup$
    – Jayie
    Sep 9 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ What @PM2Ring meant is that the heavier quarks aren't "made of" other particles. The reason why you need to smash other particles to create heavier quarks is only because they decay, and so you don't just find them laying around. $\endgroup$ Sep 10 at 8:54
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In a particle collider (such as the Large Hadron Collider) a beam of charged particles (typically electrons or protons) is accelerated to relativistic speeds and then collided with either a stationary target or another beam of particles travelling in the opposite direction.

Some of the kinetic energy stored in the beams and released in the collision goes into the creation of new particles and antiparticles, which may include the heavier quarks. There are many different ways in which sufficiently energetic particles may react with one another via the strong force and the weak force to produce new particles/antiparticles.

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They are "created" in the same way other quarks are: from vertices with gluons, Z and W bosons, or even photons.

It is the same thing with heavier leptons, like the muon: they are created from Z and W bosons and photons, and via the same particles they decay in lighter leptons, like the electron.

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