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    Muons are elementary particles and are created when cosmic rays interact with the Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 15 km above sea level. They are mostly decay products of short living pions and kaons in so-called particle showers. Muons are one of the main components of the cosmic particle flux reaching the Earth’s surface.

    The muon is the unstable "big brother" of the electron, so it is one of the leptons. It has similar properties to the electron. It carries the elementary charge e, has a spin of ½ and is subject to electroweak interaction. However, the muon has a mass that is about 200 times greater than the electron, into which it also decays at the end of its short life of ~ 2.2 μs. So no stable atoms can be formed from muons. They are not a component of ordinary matter as we know it from everyday life.

    With our student experiments different properties of muons can be investigated. Of special interest is the measurement of the muon life time. The life time allows to explain and to understand the phenomena of Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

    More details about muons can be found in the Wikipedia article.