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First Man in the Muon

  1. May 10, 2014 #1
    As nuclear charge increases electron speed (closest to the nucleus) increases. How many protons in a hypothetical atom (trans ununoctium ) would it take before the innermost electron transmutes into a muon and would it decay or be stable?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    The question does not mean anything.

    Muons are not the same thing as fast electrons.
    electrons in a bound-state of an atom are not thought of as having a "speed" in the usual sense.
  4. May 10, 2014 #3


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    Muons are also about 200 times more massive than electrons to boot.
  5. May 10, 2014 #4
    And what in the world does that question's got to do with "First Man in the Muon"?
  6. May 10, 2014 #5

    Simon Bridge

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    I figured it's a jokey/punny title designed to grab attention, and ignored it.
  7. May 11, 2014 #6
    Now wait a minute the instructions said to be catchy and if I could refer you all to the June 2013 issue of Scientific American page 52 under the title Breaking Bad? you will find that my question is not superfluous but merely the want of knowledge from an amature curious seeker.
  8. May 11, 2014 #7
    One more thing. If relativity says speed equals weight than an electron can become a muon unless Feynman was just plain all baffoon. I assumed the answer would be no but was just thinking out of the box. But I can stand some ribbing cause I've read that Feynman was in fact all baboon, Einstein was a terrible dad and Bohr was (according to at least one renown Physicist just plain boarding. I'm in good company if not intellect.
  9. May 11, 2014 #8
    Well the OP is correct in the sense that for heavy nuclei, relativistic effects become much more important, and so in some sense the electons are "faster", but note that for a bound state in an atom the probability current of the wavefuntion will always be zero.

    However, why do you think that an electon should turn into a muon at high energies? They are fundamentally different particles, and lepton decay involves the weak inteaction which is not present here...
  10. May 11, 2014 #9
    I was really thinking of the possibilities of the Feynman diagrams and the fact that the LHC can accelerate fermions to great energies. And what you have just said I've never come across in any of the literature I can read (arXive is way above my pay grade so I was curious. The non tech plain spoken material on the weak force is along the lines of "it's involved in certain kinds of radioactive decay" drives me nuts. It's either cursory or so mindboggleingly mathmatical that there's this huge gulf in between. I've been trying to find stuff to fill in the gap but can't. I've read over 100 books particle physics, astro physics etcetera, books like Cracking the Particle Code etc. So if a muon can spontaneously appear out of the void why couldn't a high energy electron grab a W out of the void and use it. I must say the probability current is new to me. But have heard that whatever is not strictly forbidden is mandatory. It sounds like your saying it is. Please clarify. Also if you can point me to info to fill in the gap I would appreciate it. Thanks for the reply. Signed. Wandering in the weakness.
  11. May 11, 2014 #10
    As for the ? About the title. H G Wells my friend. My third year college son got it and he hates physics.
  12. May 11, 2014 #11
    Also I reffed a SA article that was speculating on the properties of the elements in the next row in the periotic table. Which should cause the s1 electrons to get closer to the nucleus there by raising their energy. Could this increase climb to the level of 200 x that of the electron. So as proton number increases electron energy increases atomic half-life decreases (generally) inversely, it should be possible to get to a half life of no less than plank time so how many protons can we build into an atom before that limit. The weak force I think would play a role in this seeing as the weak force causes transuranic elements to decay. So that last element would have an s1 energy of what mabey 100+ MeV? Would this make my question more plausible. Fully realizing that present instrumentation is not up to the task and claiming that last element be called Wildeenium (after my internet username). I'll the math up to you guys.
  13. May 11, 2014 #12
    Next time, please use a title that describes the question well.
  14. May 11, 2014 #13

    Simon Bridge

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    It doesn't.
  15. May 11, 2014 #14


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    Please note that ALL elementary particles' masses are defined as their rest/covariant masses. None of us, and certainly never by scientists, are ever "confused" by something that has gained masses due to relativistic effect. We never, ever are mistaken by a "relativistically heavier electron" to be a muon! The Standard Model of elementary particle has no "mixing" of electron-muon-tau the way the neutrinos do!

    So let's get this very clear first and foremost, because your original question made this one spectacular mistake that seemed to be carried through the rest of your post. Your starting point is already faulty, and this renders the rest of your ideas from it to be false.

    Also, please note our PF Rules that you had agreed to and our strict policy on speculative ideas. You should had first of all verified that your understanding of "relativistic effect/mass" is valid in the first place before extrapolating on it. Otherwise, this is a highly speculative, not to mention, faulty topic of discussion.

    This thread is done.

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