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Determining the muon mass in an instructional laboratory
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Image of Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Experimental setup, which includes multiplate spark chamber, coincidence/anticoincidence electronics to detect muon decay within the chamber, a fast high-voltage pulser to create spark trail, and triggered CCD-based image acquisition to store data.

Image of Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Typical spark image of a muon decay with the direct and orthogonal (created by 45°-angled mirror) view of the chamber on right and left, respectively. Here, the muon enters from the top, and after it decays, the product electron moves leftward and toward the back of the chamber while producing six sparks. Superimposed on each view are software-generated outer and inner rectangles defining the boundaries of the entire chamber and the half-radius volume, respectively. The upper portion of the half-radius volume is the fiducial volume within which a valid decay must initiate.

Image of Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Comparison of experimental data with the best-fit result of the simulation, assuming and . Error bars on the data are computed as the square root of the associated count number.

Image of Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Geometry of the simulation. (a) Initial position and angles and for the product electron. (b) Length traversed within aluminum for stopped and escaping electrons.

Image of Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Sum of squared residuals versus muon mass , assuming . The minimum occurs at 100 MeV.

Image of Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Comparison of experimental data with result of simulation, assuming and .

Image of Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Circuit diagram for capacitor bank.


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Scitation: Determining the muon mass in an instructional laboratory