Do electrons and muons behave differently while passing through matter?Why does this even happen even though both of them are leptons and they can be found in 2 different states due to their charge?What does it make them diffenent?The mass?


1 Answer 1


Charged particles through matter interact with the electromagnetic field . The electron's mass is about 200 times smaller than the muon's and this makes the difference :

energy losss

As an example of the difference one can look at a Higgs event candidate, two electrons two muons, at the CMS experiment at CERN The two electrons, green, deposit all their energy much earlier than the muons ( red).

In general electrons transfer most of their energy and cascades happen, and a lot of the energy is in photons and is detected in electromagnetic calorimeters . Whereas muons can go through matter for large distances, allowing for the construction of muon detectors. Charged particles that interact strongly will be stopped by the matter in the hadronic calorimeters.


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