FIT QUARKNET week 3 report

What did you do this week?: 
One group of students (Logan, Coady & Devon) created an electromagnet. The electromagnet was placed above the top paddle and data was collected for 3 days. Each day the students ran a flux study and compared the number of muons counted by the paddles with the electromagnet activated compared to the number of muons counted by the paddles when the electromagnet was turned off. Students are currently creating a poster explaining the experiment and results. Early results indicate no change in the number of muons due to the presence of the electromagnetic field. The other group (Muyang, Angela and ryan) ran a study to determine if the roof of the building influenced the number of mouns reaching the paddles. They ran there detectors inside the building for 3 hour intervals over three days and then outside the building (on the roof) for 3 hours at the same time of day for three consecutive days. Students are currently creating a poster to describe the experiment and explain their results. Early analysis indicates about a 1000 muon count reduction in the inside the building.
Why did you do that?: 
After researching muon's, it was determined that very few materials could shield or stop a muon. The electromagnetic group thought since muons carry an electric charge, the presence of an electromagnetic field would block or redirect the muons away from the scintellator paddles. The inside/outside building group found some background information that indicated some materials (certain types of metals and thicknesses of concrete can slow down or absorb the energy of the mouns. Since we are in a commercial building with a concrete roof covered in aluminum, we might see a difference in the muon counts inside versus outside the building.
What are you doing next?: 
The electromagnetic group are going to move on to another study. They feel their results are consistent with their background research. Perhaps a stronger electromagnet would influence the muon counts but we do not have the resources to create one. The inside/outside group is also going to move on to another study. At the beginning of the workshop, this group of three decided to each lead a different study and focus on that study for one week.
Why are you doing that?: 
At the beginning of the workshop, we brainstormed different projects we could work on over the course of the next 4 weeks. Each student chose a project due the their individual interests.