Effects of Varying Water Depths on Shielding Muon Flux

Allen Diao (Troy High School), Ben Zeman (Groves High School)

Mike Niedballa (Michigan Collegiate High School)

Gil Paz (Wayne State University)

 

The purpose of our experiment was to determine the relationship between depths of water and muon flux. We wanted to see if water could be effectively used to shield detectors from muons. To run the experiment, we set up detectors above and below coolers of water at different depths of water. The data was recorded for periods of over seven hours and each depth had only one trial due to time constraints. We recorded data from all four detectors with a coincidence level of 4, so each muon had to hit all four detectors to be recorded as an event. Therefore, they traveled relatively straight and passed through the water, making our results more accurate. The results of our study saw a steady decline in muon flux as water between the detectors was increased to 85 cm. After testing the various depths of water, we concluded that water does cause a statistically significant difference in muon flux by running an ANOVA test on our data. As a result, it can be reasonably assumed that water is able to shield against low energy muons.

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Cosmic Ray