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Cosmic ray muon: cloud chamber image

Cosmic ray muon: cloud chamber image

A132/0008

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

False-colour cloud chamber photograph showing a cosmic ray muon (green) knocking out an atomic electron (red). The high-energy muon enters from above & hits the electron out of its orbit in an atom of the mixed oxygen & carbon gas filling the cloud chamber. The relatively low-energy electron curves tightly in the chamber's magnetic field. Muons belong to the family of elementary particles called leptons; they are heavy, penetrating versions of the electron which are formed in abundance when primary cosmic rays from outer space collide with particles in the upper atmosphere.

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