In an analogy to the neutron, which decays rapidly as a free particle, but when bound in a nucleus it is stable, would it be possible to crease a structure that permits the stability of muons - be it muonic atoms, some sort of muonic lattice, etc.?

Granted, the energetic benefit of the neutron $\beta$ decay is only about 0.08% of its rest mass, while the muon is roughly 200 times as massive as the electron, thus having much more to gain from decaying - making this proposition seem somewhat unlikely.


1 Answer 1


Muonic atoms should be stable in electron-degenerate matter (white dwarf material) as long as the Fermi energy is more than $m_\mu - m_e$. This is more or less exactly a analogy with neutron stability in the nucleus where the the protons are effectively in a degenerate state.

Any answer has to forbid electrons (which isn't going to be possible as they share almost all quantum numbers with the muon) or have electron be degenerate with the stated Fermi energy.


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