The physics departments of a consortium of higher education in Western Massachusetts, the Five Colleges Incorporated, are developing an advanced undergraduate laboratory course. The participating institutions are Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts. The course is designed to expose students to a variety of state-of-the-art equipment that would normally exceed reasonable financial commitments and faculty expertise of a single institution. The course is divided into experimental modules, one of which is the cosmic ray muon decay module developed at Smith College. The module is designed to investigate the dependence of the muon lifetime as a function of the medium in which it decays. Useful background information and a description of the module is given in this article.

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