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In physical cosmology, the lepton epoch was the period in the evolution of the early universe in which the leptons dominated the mass of the universe. It started roughly 1 second after the Big Bang, after the majority of hadrons and anti-hadrons annihilated each other at the end of the hadron epoch. During the lepton epoch the temperature of the universe was still high enough to create lepton/anti-lepton pairs, so leptons and anti-leptons were in thermal equilibrium. Approximately 10 seconds after the Big Bang the temperature of the universe had fallen to the point where lepton/anti-lepton pairs were no longer created. Most leptons and anti-leptons were then eliminated in annihilation reactions, leaving a small residue of leptons. The mass of the universe was then dominated by photons as it entered the following photon epoch.
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- "First few minutes". Eric Chaisson. Havard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
- "Timeline of the Big Bang". The physics of the Universe. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
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