Question Video: Recognizing an Equation to Represent a Muon-Antimuon Annihilation Physics • 9th Grade

Which of the following equations shows a muon and an antimuon annihilating to produce a photon? [A] πβ» + πβΊ βΆ πΎ [B] π + π bar βΆ πΎ [C] πβ» + πβΊ βΆ πΎ [D] π’ + π’ bar βΆ πΎ [E] πβ» + πβΊβΆ πΎ

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Video Transcript

Which of the following equations shows a muon and an antimuon annihilating to produce a photon?

We see these five different answer choices and realize that the solution essentially comes down to understanding what are the symbols that represent a muon, an antimuon, and a photon. If we know what those symbols are, then weβll be able to identify which of these answer choices is correct.

If we focus on the product of this interaction, a photon, we can recall that the symbol for a photon is the Greek letter πΎ. But notice that all five answer choices involve that product. So, that doesnβt help us narrow the field down. Our choice comes down then to which symbol represents a muon and an antimuon. Weβre helped a bit by the fact that even these names, muon and antimuon, suggest what Greek letter represents these terms.

In the very name muon, we can see the Greek letter π. And that letter is written this way in lowercase. To complete the symbol for a muon particle, we add a minus sign to the top right of the Greek letter π. Thatβs because this particle has a negative electric charge. So, if the symbol for a muon is π minus, then the symbol for an antimuon must be π plus.

Scanning through our list of options, we see that answer option (A) has these symbols in it. This answer choice then, answer choice (A), is the symbolic representation of a muon and an antimuon annihilating one another to produce a photon.