The Mysterious Muon

  • Pierre Depommier
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 45)


It may seem somewhat peculiar in a summer school on nuclear physics to have a talk on the elementary-particle aspects of the muon. However there are several obvious justifications:
  • at the new intermediate energy facilities (meson factories, proton or electron accelerators), particle physics and nuclear physics coexist. The similarities of the techniques used make it easy for the physicist to switch from one field to the other.

  • in the field of intermediate energy the nuclear and particle aspects are strongly coupled and it becomes increasingly difficult for the physicist to ignore one or the other. Elementary particles are used as probes of the nucleus and therefore their fundamental interactions must be understood. On the other hand the atomic nucleus is often used as a laboratory for the study of fundamental interactions. A good example is given by the study of weak interactions. The fundamental questions in this field will be answered not only by high-energy physics experiments (done with neutrino beams, electron-positron colliding beams, hadron-hadron colliding beams) but also by careful experiments done in intermediate-energy physics (for instance, rare decay modes of pions and muons), in low-energy physics (for instance, parity violation in nuclear forces) and even in atomic physics (parity violation in atoms). In the past, the atomic nucleus has proven to be an efficient laboratory for the study of weak interactions: parity violation in β-decay, determination of the structure of charged weak currents, conserved-vector-current theory, current-current interaction, induced pseudoscalar interaction, second-class currents, and hopefully the existence of parity-violating neutral currents.


Gauge Theory Weak Interaction Vector Boson Parity Violation Neutrino Beam 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    For a detailed review of the historical development of weak interactions the reader is referred to L. Jauneau in “Weak interactions”, a book based on lectures presented at the International School of Elementary-Particle Physics, Basko Polje (Yugoslavia), edited by M.K. Gaillard and M. Nikolic, available from the “Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules”, 11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75231 Paris CEDEX 05, France.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    L. O’Raifertaigh in “Proceedings of the Spring School on Weak Interactions and Gauge Theories”, Lyceum Alpinum, Zuoz, Switzerland, March 29-April 8, 1978, available from SIN, CH-5234 Villigen, Switzerland. O’Raifertaigh’s article will also appear in “Reports on Progress in Physics”.Google Scholar
  3. L. Maiani in “Proceedings of the 1976 CERN School of Physics”, Wepion, Belgium, 6–19 June 1976, available from CERN, Geneva, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  4. J. Berinstein, Rev. Mod. Phys. 46 (1974), 7. H. Primakoff, lectures in this series.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 3.
    For a review of early results on muon-number violation the reader is referred to S. Frankel in “Muon Physics”, edited by C.S. Wu and V.W. Hughes (Academic Press, New York, 1975).Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    B. Pontecorvo, Soviet Physics Uspekhi 14 (1971), 235.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. A.K. Mann and H. Primakoff, Phys’. Rev. D15 (1977), 655.ADSGoogle Scholar
  8. 5.
    It would be difficult to give here an exhaustive list of papers dealing with the subject. Useful references can be found in the following papers: J.D. Bjorken, K. Lane and S. Weinberg, Phys. Rev. D16 (1977), 1474; B. Humpert, SLAC-PUB-1935, May 1977; B.W. Lee and R.E. Shrock, FERMI LAB-PUB-77/21-THY, February 1977.ADSGoogle Scholar
  9. 6.
    J. Leite-Lopes and Ch. Ragiadakos, Lettere al Nuovo Cimento, 16 (1976), 261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 7.
    T.P. Cheng and L.F. Li, Phys. Rev. Letters, 38 (1977), 381.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 8.
    F. Wilizek and A. Zee, Phys. Rev. Letters, 38 (1977), 531.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 9.
    J.D. Bjorken and S. Weinberg, Phys. Rev. Letters, 38 (1977), 622.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 10.
    P. Depommier, J.P. Martin, J.M. Poutissou, R. Poutisson, D. Berghofer, M.D. Hasinoff, D.F. Measday, M. Salomon, D. Bryman, M. Dixit, J.A. Macdonald and G.I. Opat, Phys. Rev. Letters, 39 (1977), 1113.Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    H.P. Povel, W. Dey, H.K. Walter, H.J. Pfeiffer, Sennhauser. J. Egger, H.J. Gerber, M. Salzmann, A. van der Schaaf, W. Eichenberger, R. Eugfer, E. Hermes, F. Schleputz,. Weidmann, C. Petitjean and W. Hesselink, Phys. Letters, B72 (1977), 183.ADSGoogle Scholar
  15. 12.
    M. Cooper, private communication.Google Scholar
  16. 13.
    J.M. Poutissou, L. Felawka, C.H.Q. Ingram, R. MacDonald, D.F. Measday, M. Salomon and J. Spuller, Nucl. Phys. B8Q (1974), 221.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 14.
    J.D. Bowman, T.P. Cheng, L.F. Li and H.S. Matis, Phys. Rev. Letters, 41 (1978), 442.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 15.
    S.M. Korenchenko, B.F. Kostin, G.V. Mitsei’makher, K.G. Nekrasov and V.S. Smirnov, Sov. Phys. JETP, 43 (1976), 1.ADSGoogle Scholar
  19. 16.
    D.A. Bryman, M. Blecher, K. Gotow and R.J. Powers, Phys. Rev. Letters, 28 (1972), 1469ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 17.
    A. Badertscher, K. Borer, G. Czapek, A. Fluckiger, H. Hanni, B. Hahn, E. Hugentobler, A. Markees, U. Moser, R.P. Redwine, J. Schacher, H. Scheidiger, P. Schlatter and G. Viertel, Phys, Rev. Letters, 39 (1977), 1385.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 18.
    J.M. Poutissou, in “Proceedings of the Spring School on Weak Interactions and Gauge Theories”, Lyceum Alpinum, Zuoz, Switzerland, March 29-April 8, 1978, available from SIN, CH-5234, Villigen, Switzerland.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Depommier
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de MontréalMontréalCanada

Personalised recommendations