Handwavium: Muon Metals

A reader recently asked the relevant question: how do they stabilize the muons in muon metals, muons not being known for their stability, and when binding metals together, not exactly capable of being stabilized by moving at very high fractions of c, either?

Well, that would be space magic!

(Alas. But with sufficient futureward advancement, SFnal hardness inevitably becomes SFnal firmness.)

Which is to say, so far as I know, there isn’t a known process to do it. (Unless the people who claim that muons should be stable in electron-degenerate matter, like white dwarf material, due to Fermi suppression [the lack of free quantum states to accomodate the decay electron] are correct, but there are good reasons to suspect that they aren’t.)

What lets them do it is another by-product of ontotechnology – hinted at in this reference to a “boser” – that enables mucking about with the bosons that mediate the weak interaction, rendering the stuff stable or at least metastable by oh-look-a-furious-handwave means. If it can be done in reality, it’ll require a whole lot more knowledge of quantum flavordynamics than we have right now, at least.

(Side digression: I like to think that this and its general treatment illustrates what I consider one of the guiding principles of “firm SF”, as I call it. It is acceptable to invoke a little handwavium to generate your unobtainium, but having done it, your unobtanium will-by-Jove follow the laws of physics as they would apply to it. Hence my trying to figure out what exactly hypothetical muon metals would look like, why tangle channels absolutely do violate causality, etc., etc. Just because it’s not currently possible and may be absolutely impossible doesn’t mean that it’s magical, and certainly doesn’t mean that it’s inconsistent.)

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