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Physics  2004 

Past, Present and Future of Muonium

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Muonium, the atom which consists of a positive muon and an electron, has been discovered by a team led by Vernon W. Hughes in 1960. It is in many respects the most ideal atom available from nature. Due to the close confinement in the bound state muonium can be used as an ideal probe of electro-weak interaction, including particularly Quantum Electrodynamics, and to search for additional yet unknown interactions acting on leptons. Recently completed experiments cover the ground state hyperfine structure, the 1s-2s interval and a search for spontaneous conversion of muonium to antimuonium. The experiments yield precise values for the fine structure constant, the muon mass and its magnetic moment. The results from these precision measurements have provided restrictions for a number of theories beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. Future precision experiments will require new and intense sources of muons.


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