This DIY challenge allows you to catch a falling muon


Physicists at MIT have developed and launched a $100 muon detector you could construct at house, permitting you to sense deep area bombardment on one thing that appears like a TV distant. The CosmicWatch is principally somewhat field that may detect high-energy cosmic rays as they hit the Earth’s environment and decay into muons.

Muons hit the Earth in a “light drizzle” say the machine’s creator, Spencer Axani. He and the opposite members of the workforce, Katarzyna Frankiewicz and Paweł Przewłocki of the Nationwide Centre for Nuclear Analysis in Warsaw in addition to Janet Conrad at MIT, created a whole DIY system for constructing and measuring muons as they cross by the detector. You could find the DIY plans right here and even obtain the challenge code on Github. It makes use of an Arduino Nano and a silicon photomultiplier “to detect scintillation light emitted from charged particles as they pass through the scintillator.”

Axani has connected the machine to climate balloons and even despatched groups of scholars into the Boston subway to see how drastically the rely modified. They plan on sending a detector up in a suborbital rocket.

“At sea level, you might see one count every two seconds at sea level, but on a plane at cruising altitude, that rate increases by about a factor of 50 — a dramatic change,” mentioned Axani. “From the measured rate you can back-calculate what the actual altitude of the plane was.”

You can even use this machine to map by partitions, permitting you to make a map of one other flooring just by seeing the place the muons are extra prevalent.

“That’s something I’d like to try out at some point, maybe to map out the office on the floor above me,” mentioned Axani.


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Désiré LeSage


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