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Muon/muonium surface interactions


The interactions of muonium (μ + e , Mu) with the surfaces of fine silica powders have been extensively studied using zero, longitudinal and transverse field μSR techniques. These studies indicate diffusion and trapping behavior of the Mu atoms on the silica surface, which is strongly influenced by the surface hydroxyl (OH) concentration. Specifically, the presence of the surface OH groups is observed to inhibit the surface mobility of the Mu atoms at low temperatures. Information provided by zero and longitudinal field data suggest a random anisotropic distortion of the Mu hyperfine interaction (RAHD) as the principal relaxation mechanism. A recently developed RAHD spin relaxation theory is used to interpret these data. Additional investigations, using platinum loaded silica, have yielded the first observed surface reaction of Mu.

Studies of the interactions of positive muons with surfaces have been also extended to single crystals, where low energy (<10 eV)μ + andMu ions are observed to be reemitted from some materials (e.g., the <100> surface of lithium fluoride). Future applications of these emission phenomena toward the development of a slow847-3 (or Mu) beam are considered.

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Harshman, D.R. Muon/muonium surface interactions. Hyperfine Interact 32, 847–863 (1986).

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  • Spin Relaxation
  • Fine Silica
  • Transverse Field
  • Lithium Fluoride
  • Longitudinal Field