Mu3e Pixel tracker construction extension

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics


The Mu3e experiment will study a very large numbers of muon decays. For this the team behind the experiment is building a
detector that can measure with unprecedented accuracy the daughter particles produced in these decays. The experiment
will look for a very specific type of decay in which an anti-muon decays to 2 positrons and an electron. Crucially, in this a
process the anti-muon loses its "flavour" to become a positron. Although other particles such as quarks and neutrinos are
known to do this, such a change of flavour has never been observed for the charged leptons (electrons, muons or taus).
If the well-established standard model (SM) of particle physics is the complete story, processes involving the violation of
the conservation of charged lepton flavour should not be observed. However, particle physicists expect that to address some
big questions in physics, such as why in our universe matter dominates over antimatter, new models going beyond the
standard model are needed. A plethora of such model have been formulated but substantive evidence to corroborate any
of these remains absent.
To date, previous experiments have excluded that muon decays involving charged lepton flavour violation occur more than once
in every 1,000,000,000,000 (1E12) decays. The Mu3e experiment will be more sensitive by a factor 10,000,
potentially adding 4 zeros to this already impressive result; or - much better - finding evidence of the sought after
decay process and with that, direct evidence of new physics.
Another key question particle physicist are trying to answer is to understand the nature of the mysterious dark matter. The
existence of dark matter is strongly established from astronomical observations, but its nature remains unknown. The
unique capabilities of the Mu3e experiment to study with great precision the decays product of a very large number of
muons, also allows the members of the team that will build and operate the detector to search for hypothetical dark photons
that provide a link between the matter particles we know and a hidden world of dark matter particles.


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