Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy
College Station, Texas 77843
The three types of fundamental fermions are arranged into three generations and we don’t know why. Their behavior is further puzzling. One of the three types, the charged leptons, seems different from the neutrinos and quarks: they don’t change back and forth among the generations. The Mu2e experiment will study this difference by searching for a rare process at the level of a few times 10-17. I will explain what the experiment is looking for and how it works. Although the new physics under study may be esoteric, I will show that the design of a cutting-edge experiment can be understood by anyone with an undergraduate education in physics.