Physics 111: Muon Lifetime (MUO) Physics 111 Advanced Laboratory This video accompanies the Muon Lifetime Experiment, providing students with an introduction to the theory, apparatus, and procedures. The Muon is an unstable particle, with a lifetime on the order of microseconds, which decays by means of the weak interaction into an electron and two neutrinos. If we start out with No muons, then the number of muons present at a time t later is N(t) = Noexp(t/T) , where T is the mean life. In this experiment, cosmic-ray muons that enter a large tank of liquid scintillator trigger the emission of a pulse of photons. These photons are detected by one or two photomultiplier tubes. If the muon stops inside the tank, another pulse of light is produced when the muon decays. The time difference between the pulses is a measurement of the lifetime. An histogram of these time differences for many decaying muons resembles an exponential distribution from which the mean lifetime can be determined. http://advancedlab.org
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