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GR0877 Problem 98

PROBLEM STATEMENT: Which of the following is the principal decay mode of the positive muon \mu^{+}?

(A) \mu^{+} \to e^{+} + \nu_e

(B) \mu^{+} \to p + \nu_{\mu}

(C) \mu^{+} \to n + e^{+} + \nu_e

(D) \mu^{+} \to e^{+} + \nu_e + \overline{\nu_{\mu}}

(E) \mu^{+} \to \pi^{+} + \overline{\nu_e} + \nu_{\mu}

SOLUTION: (D) Lepton number L_e is conserved only for (D). Remember, L_e = +1 for the electron, the muon, and the neutrino, and L_e = -1 for the positron, the positive muon and the antineutrino (all other particles are given a lepton number of zero).

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