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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Muonium formation in some vapors Arseneau, Donald Joseph


The fractions of polarized positive muons thermalizing in diamagnetic environments (fD) and as muonium atoms (fM) have been measured in gas phase water, methanol, hexane, cyclohexane, tetramethylsilane, and the chloro-methanes. In almost every case, fM=0.8 and f=0.2, in contrast to the corresponding fractions measured in condensed media where PM=0.2 and PD=0.6. Unlike condensed phases, there is generally no "lost" polarization in the vapors. Any missing fraction is understood in terms of hyperfine dephasing of Mu during thermalization; a distinctly gas phase effect which disappears at moderately high pressures. Carbon tetrachloride is anomalous in having an unusually low muonium fraction (fM=0.5) in the vapor, but having no muonium in the liquid phase (PD=1.0). Furthermore, the vapor also has a true missing fraction while the liquid does not. The vapor phase results are interpreted in terms of a hot atom/ion reaction model giving either pressure independent yields (fD) as seen in water and the chloro-methanes or pressure dependent values as measured in the hexanes and TMS. That interpretation indicates that hot atom reactions do not account for more than about 30% of the much larger diamagnetic fractions seen in condensed phases, suggesting that radiation-induced spur effects are predominant in determining thermal fractions in condensed media.

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