Hand-Made Particle Detector

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Nathaniel Willis Mark Plano Clark


By Nathaniel Willis, Physics

Advisor: Mark Plano Clark

Presentation ID: PM_D31

Abstract: The goal of my project was to create a small, handheld Muon detector as instructed by http://www.cosmicwatch.lns.mit.edu/detector. The detector's design is meant to be relatively easy to assemble with a reasonable cost to go with it. The finished product has an OLED screen that will tell you how many counts it obtained, as well as the count rate with uncertainty of the detections.On the back of the detector, there is a BNC connector to attach to an oscilloscope to record the data tht i want to collect. Specifically, the data I wanted to collect was the decays of Muons captured in my detector. I would use this to try and measure the lifetime of the Muon particle. The data was collected over a 10 day period in hopes of capturing a significant amount of decays to extract a reasonable lifetime. From these 10 days of collecting data, I was able to detect approximately 341,000 Muons, but only 28 of them actually decayed inside of my detector. Using these decays, I was able to obtain a lifetime value of approximately 2.581 +/- .013 microseconds. I plan on spending another 7-10 days collecting data to refine my results further.

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PM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- D: New Frontiers