The Effect of Aluminum Shielding on Cosmic Ray Muon Flux

The Effect of Aluminum Shielding on Cosmic Ray Muon Flux

Adam Ross (De La Salle Collegiate High School), Jill  Schell (Macomb Mathematics Science Technology Center)

Mike Niedballa (Wayne State University)

Dr. Gil Paz (Wayne State University)


            The experiment was performed to determine the effect of various thicknesses of aluminum as a shield against cosmic ray muons. This test added to and expanded on research done that shows the effect of other metals as shields against the same rays. This study was conducted using four cosmic ray muon detectors set up in pairs, with each pair one meter apart. Multiple trials were conducted, gradually increasing the amount of aluminum between the pairs of detectors. After running multiple tests, the value of the flux had a clear but small decrease as the thickness of aluminum was increased. Also, the amount of aluminum was shown to have a decreasing linear relationship with the muon flux. With the data that was collected, the researchers were able to conclude that the greater amount of aluminum present, the smaller the muon flux. This finding also leads to the conclusion that aluminum can act as a weak shield against the cosmic ray muons. This research could be furthered with greater quantities of aluminum to determine, with greater accuracy, when the flux would near zero. Also, this research, combined with outside research about the shielding effects of other materials and metals, could create a better understanding of the effect of density on muon shielding, and help better determine which material has the greatest shielding effect, and for what reasons shielding is effective.



Cosmic Ray