BUSKULIC, D (reprint author), INST NATL PHYS NUCL & PHYS PARTICULES, CNRS, PHYS PARTICULES LAB, F-74019 ANNECY LE VIEUX, FRANCE.
A measurement of the average lifetime of b hadrons has been performed with the dipole method on a sample of 260000 hadronic Z decays recorded with the ALEPH detector during 1991. The dipole is the distance between the vertices built in the opposite hemispheres. The mean dipole is extracted from all the events without attempting b enrichment. Comparing the average of the data dipole distribution with a Monte Carlo calibration curve obtained with different b lifetimes, an average b hadron lifetime of 1.51 +/- 0.08 ps is extracted.