Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Robert T Siegel


An experiment was performed at the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) to establish the conditions for the metastability of the 2S-state of muonic neon. The muonic atoms were formed by stopping negative muons in the neon-filled target chamber of the PSI cyclotron trap. A pair of intrinsic germanium detectors were used in coincidence to search for the two photon decay of the 2S-state. Both energy and time information from two photon events were written to disk for off-line analysis. Data were accumulated for neon pressures of 40 and 400 Torr. The data were then searched for evidence of two photon transitions from the 2S-state.;The germanium detectors were sensitive to the K-, L- and M- series x-ray photons (with energies between 10 and 300 keV) emitted during the cascade of the muonic neon ion. The detectors were also used alone to record single photon events of the K- and L-series x rays. The observed intensity ratios of the K-series x rays provided a lower limit on the initial population of the 2S-state.;For the pressure condition of 40 Torr of neon, the 2S population was found to be 1.75% {dollar}\pm{dollar}.15% of the total cascade. The number of events at 40 Torr that could be attributed to two photon decays of the 2S-state was found to be 30 {dollar}\pm{dollar} 52 corresponding to a 2S population of 3.8% {dollar}\pm{dollar} 6.5%. at 400 Torr of neon the observed number of 2S two photon decays was 7 {dollar}\pm{dollar} 41, placing an upper limit on the 2S population at 0.9% {dollar}\pm{dollar} 5.1% of the total cascade. These results, to within the experimental uncertainties, can neither establish nor exclude the metastability of 2S muonic neon.



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