Science: Messages by Muons

In the realm of high-energy physics, muons can be an outright nuisance. These tiny atomic fragments, somewhat heavier than the electrons they resemble, are produced when protons collide inside the bowels of large atom smashers. They live for only a fraction of a second, but are able to pass unscathed through heavy barriers or shields. Thus, unless carefully controlled, they often show up where they are not wanted, and can play havoc with experiments. Now a scientist at the AEC's Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago plans to put the troublesome particles to work. In an effort to take some of the...

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