2014 WSU Abstract: Comparing the Velocity of Muons Indoors vs Outdoors

Muon Velocity

Andrew Rouditchenko; Ariane Troschinetz
Researchers and other QuarkNet student groups have conducted studies observing that the velocities of muon particles from cosmic ray showers reach almost the speed of light, 3x108 m/s. This experiment was conducted to determine if calculated velocities for the particle differed depending on the environment of the setup. Four stacked scintillator panels were used to detect incoming muons. The distance between these panels and the coincidence settings varied depending on the specific setup. Two experiments were conducted indoors: the first with a total distance of 1.4 meters between the top and the bottom panels, the second with a total distance of 2.93 meters. These conditions were repeated outdoors near the entrance to the building with only minute differences. Due to technical restraints, only three panels collected data outside. Logic statements were implemented into excel spreadsheets to aid in the effort to analyze thousands of lines of data. It was observed that the second method, with a greater distance between panels, provided more accurate results similar to other sources. The calculated velocities using both methods were greater for the outdoor conditions than the indoor conditions. However, these differences were not significant. It was concluded that the infrastructure did not affect the measurable velocity of the muons.