CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research

Particle Physics Teaching Material: Cosmic Rays




This textbook serves as a source of information for teachers and high school students on cosmic rays and the possibilities to work with detectors in hands-on experiments such as cloud chambers and muon detectors.


This textbook is part of a four-volume series of teaching material on particle physics developed by the German Netzwerk Teilchenwelt in cooperation with the Joachim Herz Foundation.

It covers important aspects of cosmic rays, such as sources of the primary cosmic rays, the creation of the secondary cosmic rays in Earth’s atmosphere and the possibilities of the detection of secondary cosmic particles, especially muons, in hands-on experiments using particle detectors directly in the classroom. In addition to cloud chambers, the so called CosMO-detectors, which were developed by Netzwerk Teilchenwelt, are discussed. Furthermore, possible research questions and the measurement methodology are outlined. The material includes many exercises that can be used to accompany own measurements of, for example, the muon velocity and lifetime. Alongside, educational advice regarding the teaching methodology, learning goals and necessary previous knowledge is given.

The PDF file of the textbook can be downloaded here.

Printed versions of the textbook can be ordered free of charge by contacting Netzwerk Teilchenwelt via

All volumes of this teaching material can be downloaded at

A more comprehensive collection of teaching material can be found at

Post date: Thu, Jul 23, 2020 — 21:10
Updated date: Tue, Jul 28, 2020 — 02:04

Learning Topics

Matter / Antimatter
Particle Identification



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Valuable textbook in german.