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Understanding the role of muons in Particle Physics is an important step understanding generations and the origin of mass as an expression of “internal structure”. A possible connection between muonic atoms and cycloatoms is used as a pretext to speculate on the above core issue of the Standard Model.

The Standard Model is an impressive mody of Physics knowledge, deeply rooted in experiment with its impressive particle accelerators: no doubt about it! ... except for some natural questions still lurking: “Who ordered that?” (about the discovery of the muon); and “What is mass, really?”, beyond the Higgs mechanism within a Lagrangean formulation of Gauge FIELD Theory (Do we still believe in “fields”!?), while the evidence that mass is quantized, abounds (e.g. [

What is a muon? It comes from a meson (and was originally classified as such [^{1}:

π → μ + ν ¯ μ , μ + ν ¯ μ → e − + ν ¯ e ,

as shown by the above “particle reaction” diagrams^{2}.

Of course, historically speaking (e.g. [^{3,4}.

Note that the decay of the muon involves the weak interaction “bosons” W − , as shown in quark line diagrams, and not the photon γ , as in a simple EM transition between atomic orbitals (SM).

What’s the “difference”?^{5} Ditto for the pion decay, not a strong interaction, as in the many strange mesons production processes (bumping quarks one generation up), the weak interaction bosons are responsible for the quark flavor transition.

Remark 1.1. It is too early to ask, or claim anything, but let us keep in mind the short exact sequence from the footnote: U ( 1 ) → U ( 2 ) → S U ( 2 ) , in connection with the Electro-Weak Theory. Still, it’s as if W − is the “electron”, but with a mass reflecting an internal structure, modeled algebraically as a state in an irreducible representation of the larger group S U ( 2 ) , and the antineutrino corresponds to the section splitting the sequence ...

With these thought in author’s mind, reading about cycloatoms [^{6}

So, let’s review, as non-expert cycloatom and see what comes out of this ... This is the “throwing of the stone”; the burden of proof, or rather hope, is on the expert reader side ...

Computer simulations of classical and quantum mechanical time evolution of the atom in strong magnetic field, excited through a powerful laser [

Exciting an electron coherently via a laser may be compared with a pion decay, or beta decay, or even better, with the decay of a muonic atom [

The initial spiraling of the atoms (see the movies of cycloatoms in loc. cit.) is the transient phase, before reaching a standing wave of higher mass, as a resonant bound state (see movies available loc. cit.).

The advantage of using strong magnetic fields is to allow for relatively low energy lasers to “pump” coherently energy, obtaining the same results as high-end lasers [

Remark 2.1. The EM gauge vector potential A determines the geometric connection, and what the “geodesics” are, if we place ourselves in a Kaluza-Klein context, following Einstein’s pioneering work with his General Relativity.

This magnetic “curving of local-space” alters therefore the bound states, allowing for much larger principal quantum numbers n shells. What is unexpected though, is the topology of such an “orbital”, a genus g = 1 (not simply connected)^{7}

Remark 2.2. It would be interesting to test whether even stronger fields may compress the orbital to behave like a muonic atom; associating the experiment with a particle detector for a non-EM decay μ − → e − + n ¯ u e + ν μ , is an afterthought ...

Note that the computations use purely classical relativistic mechanics, corresponding perhaps to the initial Bohr-Sommerfeld model of a moving electron, together with a lattice model approach [

The dominant decay mode of the pion, relating it with the muon:

π − → μ − + ν ¯ μ .

The current model (SM) resolves this process via W massive boson, responsible for “carrying” the mass and charge, in a u → d quark isospin transition (corresponding π + shown below): (

Remark 3.1. It would be interesting to study its the spectrum (energy or mass), and see if it can be characterized simply by an angular moment quantum number, or there is a “new” component, a multiple of the muon mass μ ≈ 105 MeV / c 2 , which is one of the quantum units of mass m B = 70 MeV [

Indeed, the muon mass seams to correspond to the minimal energy needed to achieve a new level of internal structure, which then is repeated in various multiples, forming the known mesons and baryons. We will develop this idea elsewhere [

The other decay modes of the pion, the electronic mode of decay of μ − → e − + ν ¯ e , and the muonic beta decay μ − → μ 0 + e − + ν ¯ e , are significantly suppressed on mass and helicity reasons (Branching ratios of 10^{−4} and 10^{−8}). Yet, when comparing cycloatoms and muonic atoms, there is a certain “huntch” that there are common points.

The SM, built on Gauge Theory foundations around the 70s, standing strong on experimental grounds, and well correlated with the modern infrastructure, faces the birth of a new promissing paradigm: Quantum Computing, in the “new age” of Information (Classical and Quantum). It is worth pointing briefly the limitations of “believing” that leptons are “partiples”, in order to “nurcher” IT (from Bit^{8}), rather then neglect its future^{9}.

Often the muon is considered simply as a “heavy electron”; then who needs it!? (paraphrasing I. I. Rabi: “Who ordered that?”). But then it must share electron’s properties: atomic orbitals are “clouds”, it is subject to interference as in Aharonov-Bohm experiment etc.

At this point, from HEP “particles” viewpoint, we should challenge that “electrons are pointwise”; no internal structure, yes, when performing strong measurements, like smashing things in particle accelerators, but with a lot of topological structure when arranging a coherent setup, e.g. in laser experiments. To see the huge conceptual difference between “strong measurements” and “weak measurements”, as for example those in Quantum Optics, see (start with) [^{10}.

Briefly, a holistic approach is needed (see also [

Regarding the decay process π − ↦ μ − ↦ e − (main stages), the following “picture” (^{11}:

The main point is that baryons (the above billiard-ball looking blobs representing p + and Δ + + ), are nodes of the network (modeled as Qubit Frames [

The “particle solution” of the beta decay, the neutrino, may be “upgraded” to a String Theory solution:

1) the continuous spectrum of energy, conflicting to a tree-level 3-body collison, and leading to Pauli’s solution “there is an unseen 4th particle” (neutrino), should be re-evaluated once Feynman graphs were invented and loop corrections are ubiquitous in HEP: the loop momentum A → plays the role of the unseen carrier;

2) The “multiple paths solution, in the context of an Aharonov-Bohm like experiment, involves a “collapse of the wave function”, which corresponds to a cut; how to model mathematically, corresponding to the well established theory of neutrinos, remains to be seen. At this point, the mass and oscillation problems seem to have new opportunities to be explained.

Charge is a period (e.g. Gauss’ Theorem), as well as amplitudes in CFT (e.g. Veneziano amplitudes).

Nevertheless measuring such an event using for instance detectors as macro-objects not quantum synchronized with the Quantum Circuit, is like poking a chip with a voltmeter, or a soap baloon with a needle: the pop-release of energy-matter is localized, as if the object (unseen otherwise in the case of “elementary particles”) is pointwise^{12}.

In support of the global network modeling approach, vs. moving particles in space-time, we will also mention the Special Relativity “forbidden” slow-down of light to speeds of hundred feet per second, in a cross-fire of lasers [

As mentioned elsewhere [^{13}.

Topological aspects (structure) may turn out to be relevant in particle physics as well, in the spirit of Feynman Path Integrals and Diagrams, which are in fact the source of coherence, constructive or destructive, and leading to bound states and resonance.

More specifically, the toroidal structure of a muon as a source of its mass is compared with cycloatoms. The former is obtained in huge particle accelerators, while the later, in experimental setups consisting in a laser feeding energy into an atom subject to powerful magnetic field, similar to “micro-accelerators”.

Phenomena involving multiple-path analysis should not be forgotten, when considering high or medium energy physics.

In fact, the above discussion suggests the possibility that the neutrino is just a misunderstood consequence of on electron being distributed over a non-simply connected charge distribution, for instance in beta or mesonic decay, and the 1-loop momentum therefore overlooked in the 3-body scattering analysis is the origin of the experimental fact that the energy of the emerging, measured electron, has a continuum spectrum.

Overall, the origin of mass is suggested to be of topological and group of symmetries origin, as it will be analyzed in a subsequent article [

The topological aspects demand a holistic approach, i.e. modeling the experiments as networks processing quantum information, rather then the traditional “billiard-ball game” of scattering experiments [

The author declares no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Ionescu, L.M. (2020) What Is a Muon Anyways: Meson or Lepton!? Journal of High Energy Physics, Gravitation and Cosmology, 6, 244-250. https://doi.org/10.4236/jhepgc.2020.62018