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Cosmic Muons

  1. May 17, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Within the system of the muon, which relavisitic effect increases the probability for the muon to reach the Earth surface?
    Length contraction of the distance to Earth.
    Time dilation of its mean-life.
    Both of the above.
    None the above, the probability is lower in the system of the muon.

    2. Relevant equations
    Its conceptual

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I thought it was both, but the online homework system says that length is correct. am i wrong and why?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 17, 2008 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Since the muon is the "clock" (its lifetime is a natural clock), what frame will see that clock slow down?
  4. May 17, 2008 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Time dilation in one frame is the same as length contraction in another frame, but not in both. Think about it. Which frame are they asking the question in?
    Last edited: May 17, 2008
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