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Pion Decay to Muons and not Electrons

  1. Apr 13, 2009 #1
    Hello! I'm afraid I've asked this before, a while ago, but I still don't completely understand. It's not a homework question as such, but I thought this might be an appropriate place to put it.

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Why is it that pions decay via pi^+ --> mu^+ + antimuon neutrino 98% of the time and only to a positron and anti electron neutrino 2% of the time.


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I understand it is something to do with helicity (as neutrinos are not chiral, as they have mass) and something to do with a spin flip which is dependent on the mass, and since a muon has a larger mass, this is why it's favoured. But everyone I asked (even professors) seem to give a description that is a bit fuzzy.

    Any help would be appreciated a lot. :-)

    Samantha
     
  2. jcsd
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