muon Detection

Time Travellers
Muons created by the interaction of cosmic rays are an everyday demonstration of Einstein’s theory of relativity. A muon has a measured mean lifetime of 2.2 microseconds. Consequently, they should only be able to travel a distance of 660 metres even at near the speed of light and should not be capable of reaching the ground. However Einstein’s theory showed that time ticks slowly for particles moving at speeds close to that of light. Whilst the mean lifetime of the muon at rest is only a few microseconds, when it moves at near the speed of light its lifetime is increased by a factor of ten or more giving these muons plenty of time to reach the ground.


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