Title

Portable Muon Detector

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

15-5-2019

End Date

15-5-2019

Abstract

This presentation will describe the construction of a portable muon detector for education and research purposes. When cosmic rays hit the Earth’s atmosphere they produce a cascade of high energetic particles comprised of pions and neutrons, these energetic particles are unstable in nature and will eventually decay. The byproducts of the decaying charged pions are known as muons, a muon is a subatomic particle that is similar to an electron but is larger in mass. Most of the energetic particles that reach the surface of the Earth are muons. The detector will measure muon flux as a function of altitude on board a high-altitude balloon (HAB) using a scintillator that emits light when a charged particle passes through it. A silicon photomultiplier will detect the light pulses and send a voltage spike which will be counted and recorded by an Arduino Nano. As the detector increases in elevation we expect the rate of muon detections will increase until the balloon reaches 15 km above sea-level. The peak muon production occurs at 15 km due to both the relatively high density of air molecules and the high flux of cosmic rays, which is attenuated at lower altitudes. In addition to detecting muons on a HAB, the portable battery-powered detector will be used for particle physics demonstrations and other research projects.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Darci Snowden

Department/Program

Physics

Portable Muon Detector1.pptx (4763 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation English

Additional Files

Portable Muon Detector1.pptx (4763 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation English

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May 15th, 12:00 AM May 15th, 12:00 AM

Portable Muon Detector

Ellensburg

This presentation will describe the construction of a portable muon detector for education and research purposes. When cosmic rays hit the Earth’s atmosphere they produce a cascade of high energetic particles comprised of pions and neutrons, these energetic particles are unstable in nature and will eventually decay. The byproducts of the decaying charged pions are known as muons, a muon is a subatomic particle that is similar to an electron but is larger in mass. Most of the energetic particles that reach the surface of the Earth are muons. The detector will measure muon flux as a function of altitude on board a high-altitude balloon (HAB) using a scintillator that emits light when a charged particle passes through it. A silicon photomultiplier will detect the light pulses and send a voltage spike which will be counted and recorded by an Arduino Nano. As the detector increases in elevation we expect the rate of muon detections will increase until the balloon reaches 15 km above sea-level. The peak muon production occurs at 15 km due to both the relatively high density of air molecules and the high flux of cosmic rays, which is attenuated at lower altitudes. In addition to detecting muons on a HAB, the portable battery-powered detector will be used for particle physics demonstrations and other research projects.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2019/Oralpres/18