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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 neutrino and electron-positron pairs. Approximately 10 seconds after the Big Bang, the temperature of the universe had fallen to the point where electron-positron pairs were gradually annihilated. A small residue of electrons needed to charge-neutralize the Universe remained along with free streaming neutrinos: an important aspect of this epoch is the neutrino decoupling. The Big Bang nucleosynthesis epoch follows, overlapping with the photon epoch.
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