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A Short History of µSR Spectroscopy

The first counter experiment to identify the anisotropic decay of the muon was performed by Garwin, Lederman & Weinrich in 1957, thereby laying the groundwork for future applications of the µSR technique.

Applications of µSR to the investigation of materials followed soon after in American, Russian and European laboratories, but the rapid development of µSR as a tool for chemistry and solid state physics research began with the construction of three "meson factories" in the early 1970s.

Since that time, thriving µSR communities have been developed around the facilities at the Paul Scherrer Institut (Villigen, Switzerland), TRIUMF (Vancouver, Canada), KEK (Tsukuba, Japan; now moved to J-PARC in Tokai) and ISIS (Oxford, UK).


During the last several decades µSR has become recognized as an established local probe in condensed matter physics and chemistry.


Three out of four of the world's muon facilities also provide spallation neutron beams, exploiting the close synergy between µSR and neutron scattering.


Recent technological achievements in the µSR field have included the development of ultra-low background, high-statistics pulsed muon beams and spectrometers, fast timing spectrometers for high applied magnetic fields, and ultra low-energy muon beams for near surface and thin film studies.

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