Name: Ty W.
What is a muon?
A muon is a particle very much like an electron. The biggest difference is that a muon is
much heavier than an electron. Other than that, muons and electrons are essentially the
same. In fact, a muon can become a much lighter electron. The change of mass becomes
energy, released as neutrinos and photons of light. An electron can last forever. A
muon will only last
a few seconds before becoming an electron.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College
A muon is a lepton. There are three leptons (called electron, muon, and
tau) which have identical properties and interactions, except that their
masses are quite different.. For example, they all have the same built in
angular momentum (spin) and magnetic moment.
The muon has about 200 times the mass of the electron and the tau has a mass
about 3500 times the mass of the electron. Because of their large masses
and short lifetimes (the muon has a half life of about two millionths of a
second), the muon and tau are very rare compared to the electron, though
muons are produced quite often by cosmic ray interactions in the atmosphere.
If you would like more information, I would strongly recommend the web site
Best, Dick Plano, Professor of Physics emeritus, Rutgers University
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Update: June 2012