This DIY project lets you catch a falling muon

Physicists at MIT have developed and released a $100 muon detector which you can build in your home, enabling you to feel space bombardment on something which resembles a TV remote. The CosmicWatch is just a tiny box which could detect high-energy cosmic rays since they hit against the Earth’s atmosphere and decay into muons.

Muons hit the Earth in a “light drizzle” state rsquo & the device;s creator. He and the other members of this team, Katarzyna Frankiewicz and Paweł Przewłocki of the National Centre for Nuclear Research in Warsaw in Addition to Janet Conrad in MIT, created an Whole DIY system for building and measuring muons as they pass through the sensor. You can find the DIY programs here and even download the job code on Github. It employs an Arduino Nano plus a silicon photomultiplier “to discover scintillation light emitted from charged particles as they pass through the scintillator. ”

Axani even sent groups of pupils and has connected the device to weather balloons to see how the count shifted. They plan on sending a sensor up in a suborbital rocket.

“At sea level, you may see 1 count every 2 seconds at sea level, but on a plane in cruising altitude, that rate increases by roughly a factor of 50 — a dramatic change,” said Axani. “By the rate you are able to back-calculate what the altitude of the airplane was. ”

You can also use this device to map through partitions, enabling you to make a map of another floor simply by viewing where the muons are more widespread.

“This’s something that I’d prefer to test out to map out, maybe at some stage.

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