A Japanese research team has succeeded in reaccelerating muons, a type of elementary particle, after artificially cooling them, in the world's first such breakthrough.

The achievement is expected to help better re-examine the standard theory of physics that explains the movements of elementary particles forming matter and improve the accuracy of internal inspections of giant structures, according to the team of researchers from entities including the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

Muons are created in large quantities when cosmic rays collide with the Earth's atmosphere. They have characteristics similar to those of electrons but have a mass some 200 times greater.