Life & Times of a Muon Life & Times of a Muon Author: Eva & Tim The overall muon lifetime experimental system. Tim was given a pile of BC-408 plastic scintillator panels from our friend Jim. The only sensible thing to do was to make a muon telescope of sorts. This is the NIM logic layout to use four panels of BC-408 to measure the muon’s lifetime. A close up of the wiring. This scope shot is an example of a muon only triggering the upper BC-408 panel. This scope shot is an example of a muon barreling through all three detectors This scope shot shows a muon entering the top and middle detectors, but scattering before it entered the third. Finally, the signature of a captured muon! The muon enters the top detector and then the middle detector. The second pulse on the blue trace is the signature the muon makes when it decays into an electron. The period of time between the muon entering and its subsequent decay is governed by exponential decay statistics and hence has a characteristic lifetime. Another example of a captured muon, this time with a shorter time before decay. To obtain a value for the characteristic lifetime, a statistically meaningful number of muon decay events and their time must be recorded. The above is a histogram of those times. A fit to to the exponential curve with a DC background yields a measurement of the lifetime.