Interaction of particles with matter:
When muons travel trough matter they interact with the atoms which make up the material. In this process, muons deposit part of their energy and can even be stopped altogether. The amount of lost energy depends on several parameters, among them the thickness and the density of the material.
The interaction of muons with matter can be probed by placing different materials with varying thickness above the muondetector. The rate as well as the amount of energy deposited in the muondetector will help us learn about the interaction of muons with matter. Most notably, we can verify the theoretical predictions given by e.g. the Bethe-Bloch formula.
The stopping power of different materials can be described by the Bethe-Bloch formula which finds application in the theoretical description of many physics experiments. You can read up on the relevant ideas of the Bethe-Bloch formula in our MediaWiki.
Atmospheric physics: Probing Earth's atmosphere with muons
Primary cosmic radiation can trigger a particle shower when it interacts with the constituents of Earth's atmosphere. The muons generated in a particle shower are a direct product of this reaction. As such, they deliver valuable information about the interaction process and even about the atmosphere itself.
With the muondetector, we have precise information about the timing and the location of particle showers. We can thus correlate shower events with atmospheric conditions such as the weather. In particular, the correlation to thunderstorms are a fascinating and promising field of study which we aim to explore.
Primary cosmic rays interact with Earth's atmosphere which can cause the evolution of a cosmic particle shower. The muons generated in the cosmic shower can be detected by our detector units. You can find more information about the generation of cosmic showers on our MediaWiki.
Astroparticle physics: Particles from outer space
Muons arriving on the surface of the Earth are mostly generated in particle showers triggered by primary cosmic radiation. The primary cosmic particle is an extraterrestrial messenger which can help us unravel the mysteries of the universe. Various astrophysics experiments exploit the detection of primary cosmic rays to study dark matter, dark energy, the dynamics of our solar system, distant galaxies and much more. The MuonPi project can contribute to this effort.
If the muondetector network is sufficiently wide spread we will be able to capture the geometry and direction of a particle shower. The geometry allows us to reconstruct the energy, direction and type of the primary cosmic particle which generated the shower. With these observables we can put contemporary astroparticle theories to the test.
Earth is constantly bombarded with particles coming from outer-space. These particles are valuable messengers about the state and the evolution of our universe. You can learn more about these extraterrestrial particles on our MediaWiki.