Elemental Makeup of Samples is Revealed for Muonic X-Rays, albeit with a little skepticism

Elemental Makeup of Samples is Revealed for Muonic X-Rays, albeit with a little skepticism ...

Researchers can for the first time examine the elemental makeup of samples from techniques designed for high-energy particle accelerators and astronomy observations, according to a new study in Scientific Reports.

Muons are one of the many elementary particles in the universe, which is currently used as muon beams in high-energy accelerator experiments by physicists. However, researchers in other fields have also found that muons might be helpful in the composition of precious materials, such as the interior of meteorites.

X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is widely used in a variety of fields, including archaeology and planetary science, but they can only examine the elemental makeup of samples near the surface, and it cannot accurately quantify light elements such as carbon.

Muons have an advantage over traditional methods. When a negative muon is captured by an irradiated material, a muonic atom is created. The muonic x-rays released from the new muonic atoms have high energy, and can be detected with high sensitivity without being absorbed by the sample itself.

Researchers have been able to collect samples on a one-dimensional scale by improving muon energy being accelerated by high-energy accelerators.

I-Huan Chiu, an Osaka University radioisotope research center associate professor, and Professor Yasuhiro Miyake, a professor at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, have combined this with a cadmium telluride double-sided strip detector (CdTe-DSD), which was originally designed for 2-dimensional imaging for hard x-ray and -ray measurements in space, and to develop a technique that allows the user to create

The researchers performed a muonic x-ray and a CdTe-DSD experiments at the D2 muon beamline of the Muon Science Establishment (MUSE) in J-PARC, a high-intensity proton accelerator facility north of Tokyo.

The setup involved sculpting two small and two larger spherical plastic balls, which were rotated at a rate of 22.5 degrees each time during muon irradiation. One entire rotation produced a total of 16 images recorded by the CdTe-DSD, and an algorithm used in medicine to reconstruct a 3D image.

The results suggest there were two kinds of balls with different sizes, and the interior was easily discovered.

According to the researchers, their methodology is of great use for elemental depth profiling of archeological samples.

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