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Muon experiment begins this summer

A model of the truck that will be used to transport the Muon g-2 ring, placed on a streetscape for scale. Image courtesy Fermilab.

The experiment, Muon g-2 (pronounced ‘gee-minus-two’), will study the properties of muons, tiny subatomic particles that exist for only 2.2 millionths of a second. With about 200 times the mass of electrons, muons decay into electrons, neutrinos, and anti-neutrinos. Observation of this decay could lead to theories that challenge the Standard Model of particle physics, which concerns the dynamics of subatomic particles. The researchers will pay particular attention to the precision, or wobble, of muons as they are exposed to a magnetic field.

The US Department of Energy will move the centerpiece of the experiment, a circular electromagnet 15 meters (50 feet) in diameter, beginning in early June. Transportation from its Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York to its Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois will occur only at night – on a truck traveling a maximum of 16 kilometers (10 miles) per hour. The ring is expected to arrive at Fermilab in late July.

- Amber Harmon

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