Low-mass lepton-pair production in p-Be collisions at 450 GeV/c

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We report on the production of low-mass electron pairs and muon pairs in p-Be collisions at 450 GeV/c at the CERN SPS. For both electron and muon pairs the low-mass spectrum can be explained satisfactorily by lepton pairs from hadronic decays, and there is no need to invoke any “unconventional” source. The normalisation of the major hadronic sources is set by the data. The upper limit, at 90% confidence level, on any new source of lepton pairs is ∼20% of the hadronic decay contribution for muons, and ∼40% for electrons.