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Building a Cosmic Ray Detector Part 2: Assembly and Initial Testing

Andrew Back
3
Open source (hardware and software!) advocate, Treasurer and Director of the Free and Open Source Silicon Foundation, organiser of Wuthering Bytes technology festival and founder of the Open Source Hardware User Group.

Comments

March 16, 2021 08:13

Very interesting, an area I have not explored but now tempted!
Would the detector detect Radon if it was enclosed in a light-tight container but with airflow through path?

0 Votes

March 16, 2021 15:17

@Boss I imagine so, since an issue with the detector is distinguishing cosmic from background radiation, with radon being one source of the latter. This is addressed by having two detectors in coincidence mode. Not sure how you would do the opposite and not count cosmic radiation. Though it's probably comprativiely low and with radon the alarm level may be much higher. There may be also be particular scintillator and maybe filter materials that could be used. Could also be that for such simpler applications, where you want to raise the alarm when there is some worrying level of ionising radiation, you could even just use an ionisation chamber, which is much simpler and cheaper to make. I built one of these nearly 10 years ago: https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/a-treacle-tin-radiation-detector

March 18, 2021 08:03

@Andrew Back Thank you. Yes I recall your previous article, I shall have a read. Many years ago I worked on a laser Raman system with a liquid Nitrogen cooled CCD for low noise and cosmic ray events were an issue causing huge spikes on the generated spectrum or occasionally severe distortions which were put down to the direction of impact of the cosmic ray. The spectra shape was known as we were only looking at the Raman signal from Nitrogen and Oxygen in a defined range, this was fact was used to calculate a 'spectra quality factor' to decide whether to repeat the data collection. At the time we never considered the cosmic ray 'noise' was anything other than an annoyance, but perhaps it could have been a useful tool!

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