CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research

International Cosmic Day 2012




Carolin Schwerdt (Europe), Marge Bardeen (USA, Asia)


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To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Victor Franz Hess's discovery of cosmic particles on August 7, 1912, DESY, Fermilab, QuarkNet and Network Particle World are organizing the 1st International Cosmic Particle Day.
School students from across the globe can participate on 26 September 2012 and ask questions like:

  • What are cosmic particles?
  • Where do they come from?
  • How can they be measured?

Scientists working to answer these questions invite school students to join up for a day of experimentation in this fascinating field. Whether in nearby universities or research centers or in the classrooms get in contact with real science and scientists and ...

  • Perform your own cosmic particle experiment.
  • Analyze and present your data on a common website.
  • Compare your own results with the results of others.
  • Work as in an international research collaboration.

Who can participate?
Every institution or school which has access to a cosmic ray experiment that is capable to carry out one of the measurements described above can participate! The map gives an overview of the registered institutes.
After an introductory talk on the research field of cosmic rays and their discovery 100 years ago, the participants will conduct a cosmic particle experiment themselves. They will make measurements, analyse the data, and present their results on a wiki page. On the next day, when all participating groups from all over the world have published their results, students can compare and discuss their results.
The universe is a big place. Cosmic ray primaries drift around and get energy boosts from multiple sources. Some primaries attain enormous energies. When they strike the upper atmosphere, these create Extended Air Showers. These events create thousands of particles that simultaneously reach a small section of Earth's surface. More energetic primaries affect larger sections of the surface.
On this International Cosmic Day we will focus on two questions which will be addressed by student experiments:

  • Coincident air shower measurements: Can you find out how often nearby detectors simultaneously “light up” with cosmic rays? If they do, is it a randomness or a measurement of one of these showers?
  • Zenith angle distribution of air shower particles: Can you find out if the number of air shower particles arriving from the horizon is the same as from above? If it is not, what could cause this effect?


Post date: Tue, May 29, 2012 — 13:13
Updated date: Thu, Feb 07, 2013 — 14:11

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