When charged particles move in a circle they lose energy through synchrotron radiation. However, muons lose much less energy that electrons or positrons because they are 200 times heavier. This reduces the power needed to maintain the beam against energy loss.

The muons would be created from the decay of the pions produced when a megawatt proton beam strikes a metal target. According to the team's current design, the muons would then be trapped by a magnetic field and channelled into a storage ring. The neutrinos would be produced when the muons decay. The well-defined beam produced by the neutrino factory could be used in a variety of experiments to probe beyond the standard model of particle physics.