This is How Scientists Make Muons for Experiments

We will give you a hint: it takes a particle accelerator.

Call us geeks but we are big muon fans. The fundamental particles, similar to electrons but heavier, serve in everything from making fusion possible at room temperature to conducting experiments in time dilation.

But, up to know we rarely thought about how they were made. Lucky for us, the good people at minutephysics asked, and answered, the question for us.

"This video is about how to create muons in a particle accelerator via bombardment of heavy nuclei with protons, which results in creation of charged pions (plus and minus). The pions then decay into muons and mu neutrinos, and the muons then decay into electrons or positrons and more neutrinos," says the video's description.

"Muons also form in the upper atmosphere due to cosmic rays, and the uses of muons includes experimental tests of time dilation in special relativity, catalyzing muonic cold nuclear fusion, and more."

The clip is fun and easy to watch and features the explanatory and somewhat artistic illustrations we have come to expect from minutephysics.

Advertisement