Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Negative muons were brought to rest in a target array consisting of 30-50 parallel plastic foils coated with Au which were separated by a few mm. The interstitial volumes between the foils were filled with deuterium gas at pressures from 0.094 bar to 1.52 bar. Muons which stopped in the deuterium formed {dollar}\mu{dollar}d atoms, which subsequently diffused through the gas until either the muon decayed or the {dollar}\mu{dollar}d atom struck a foil surface. For {dollar}\mu{dollar}d atoms impinging upon the Au layer, the muon would transfer to an Au atom, resulting in the formation of a {dollar}\mu{dollar}Au atom in a highly excited state. De-excitation to the 1S ground state resulted in emission of characteristic muonic Au x rays, and after the muon was absorbed by the Au nucleus, the emission of Pt {dollar}\gamma{dollar} rays. These transfer photons were detected by one of four germanium x-ray detectors adjacent to the target vessel. Analysis of the time distributions formed by collecting delayed transfer events for several sets of experimental conditions yielded information on the diffusion process of {dollar}\mu{dollar}d atoms in deuterium gas.;The initial speed distribution of the {dollar}\mu{dollar}d atoms upon reaching the 1S state is described reasonably well by a Maxwellian speed distribution of mean energy 3KT/2 = 1.8 {dollar}\pm{dollar} 0.1 eV. The theoretical scattering cross sections for the reaction {dollar}\mu{dollar}d + d {dollar}\to{dollar} {dollar}\mu{dollar}d + d calculated by Bubak and Faifman agree well with this experiment when the effects of molecular scattering are approximated by multiplying the nuclear cross sections by a factor of about two. It was found that a factor of 2.10 for center of mass collision energies greater than 0.30 eV, and 2.30 for collision energies less than 0.30 eV provided a good fit to the experimental data.



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