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Excess of Muons produced by cosmic rays might signal new state of matter

By wochit 05 November 2016

Scientists at the Pierre Auger Observatory use telescopes (pictured above) and water tanks to detect showers of particles created by high-energy protons or atomic nuclei from space. Scientists have found more muons, or larger versions of electrons, than expected in such showers. MANY MUONS Muons, electrons’ heftier cousins, rain down through the Earth’s atmosphere in numbers higher than physicists expect. The discrepancy could simply point to a gap in physicists’ understanding of the nitty-gritty physics of particle interactions, or perhaps something unexpected is going on, such as the creation of a new state of matter.