Muon facts for kids
The muon has an average life time of 2.2 micro-seconds or 0.0000022 seconds.
A muon is like an electron but it is 200 times heavier. Unlike an electron, it decays into other particles. The superparticle of a muon is called a "smuon."
How are muons made?
- The photons in the cosmic rays crash into air molecules.
- Pions are made in the crash
- The pions undergo atomic decay into neutrinos and muons.
Muons are unstable elementary particles and are heavier than electrons and neutrinos but lighter than all other particles. They decay via the weak interaction. Because the total of the lepton numbers of the starting and ending particles must be the same, one of the product neutrinos of muon decay must be a muon-type neutrino and the other an electron-type antineutrino. Because charge must be kept the same, one of the products of muon decay is always an electron of the same charge as the muon. So, all muons decay to at least an electron, and two neutrinos. Sometimes, besides these necessary products, additional other particles that have a net charge and spin of zero (e.g., a pair of photons, or an electron-positron pair), are produced.
The dominant muon decay mode (sometimes called the Michel decay after Louis Michel) is the simplest possible: the muon decays to an electron, an electron-antineutrino, and a muon-neutrino. Antimuons, in mirror fashion, most often decay to the corresponding antiparticles: a positron, an electron-neutrino, and a muon-antineutrino.
Muon Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.