Special relativity in the school laboratory: A simple apparatus for cosmic-ray muon detection

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Singh, P. ; Hedgeland, H. (2015)
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing
  • Subject:
    arxiv: Physics::Instrumentation and Detectors | Physics::Physics Education

We use apparatus based on two Geiger-Müller tubes, a simple electronic circuit and a Raspberry Pi computer to illustrate relativistic time dilation affecting cosmic-ray muons travelling through the atmosphere to the Earth's surface. The experiment we describe lends itself to both classroom demonstration to accompany the topic of special relativity and to extended investigations for more inquisitive students.
  • References (2)

    References [5] Datasheet for the 2N3904 NPN general [1] Einstein A 1905 Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter purpose amplifier, from Fairchild Körper Ann. Phys., Lpz. 17 891 Semiconductowrww.fairchildsemi.com/ [2] Rossi B 1948 Interpretation of cosmic-ray ds/2N/2N3904.pdf phenomena Rev. Mod. Phys. 20 537 [6] WiringPi library for Raspberry Pi http://wiringpi.

    [3] Pfeffer J I and Nir S 2000 Modern Physics: an com/ Introductory Text (London: Imperial College Press) [7] Datasheet for the Black Cat Systems GM-45 [4] Kempa J and Brancus I M 2003 Zenith angle distribu- detector www.blackcatsystems.com/GM/ tions of cosmic ray muons Nucl. Phys.1B22 279 products/GM45GeigerCounter.html

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