It seems natural to modify the theory of Heisenberg and Fermi in the following way. The transition of a heavy particle from neutron state to proton state is not always accompanied by the emission of light particles. The transition is sometimes taken up by another heavy particle.

Since muons are unusually penetrative of ordinary matter, like neutrinos, they are also detectable deep underground (700 meters at the Soudan 2 detector) and underwater, where they form a major part of the natural background ionizing radiation. Like cosmic rays, as noted, this secondary muon radiation is also directional.

Because charge must be conserved, one of the products of muon decay is always an electron of the same charge as the muon (a positron if it is a positive muon). Thus all muons decay to at least an electron, and two neutrinos. Sometimes, besides these necessary products, additional other particles that have no net charge and spin of zero (e.g., a pair of photons, or an electron-positron pair), are produced.

Certain neutrino-less decay modes are kinematically allowed but are, for all practical purposes, forbidden in the Standard Model, even given that neutrinos have mass and oscillate. Examples forbidden by lepton flavour conservation are:

For the decay of the muon, the expected decay distribution for the Standard Model values of Michel parameters is

Muonic heavy hydrogen atoms with a negative muon may undergo nuclear fusion in the process of muon-catalyzed fusion, after the muon may leave the new atom to induce fusion in another hydrogen molecule. This process continues until the negative muon is captured by a helium nucleus, and cannot escape until it decays.

The prediction for the value of the muon anomalous magnetic moment includes three parts: