# Homework Help: The mean lifetime of muons

1. Mar 5, 2015

### FlixB

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
I am doing an experiment where I try to the determine the mean lifetime of muons. I collected enough data and I put it in a histogram (attached file), but I have no idea how to calculate the mean lifetime with this.

2. Relevant equations
y(t)=Ne^(-t/τ), where τ is the mean lifetime and N the initial amount of muons

3. The attempt at a solution
I plotted a trendline in excel and got a line with the formula y=-4.85ln(x)+10.637, which wasn't very helpful.
Because the histogram shows the amount of muons that decays and not the amount of muons left I thought I should use dy/dt=Ne^(-t/τ)*(-1/τ), but this hasn't gotten me any closer either.

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2. Mar 5, 2015

### BvU

Hello Flix, welcome to PF

This fitted line has a slope for ln(y) . Did you check what you expect for the slope of the line obtained when plotting ln(dy/dt) ?

3. Mar 5, 2015

### andrevdh

The counts is in effect the activity, A, of the sample.
The mean life of the muons is the inverse of the decay constant.