Telescope prototypes tested at UIC summer workshop

The theme of the UIC QuarkNet summer workshop was preparation for the solar eclipse.  Eighteen students and 5 teachers assembled and tested three varieties of cosmic ray telescopes: fixed-angle; tracking with plumbing pipe sframe; and tracking with PVC support.

Results - 

With fixed angle telescopes, students measured the cosmic ray rates pointing at empty sky, at the moon and at the sun.  This was done by dead reconning inside a building with no view of the sky.  We relied on a nice website ( that agreed well with the sun's position at the time.  In the short runs, there was no observed difference in muon rates in the sky at the same zenith angle for those three conditions.  Changes due to cahnges in pressure were seen.  Rate ariation versus zenith angle were also measured and were consistent with a cos2(theta) dependence.  In one test it was verified that the muon rate does not vary with vertical position, onthe scale of our telescopes.

Tracking telescopes were assembels and tested outside.  They both tracked the sun well, but we have to correct several problems:

1. the motor drive for the pipe version stopped working, so we must debug why the controller can no longer initialize itself.

2. the PVC version is heavy and we need to extend the counter blancing weight further from the rotation axis or add more mass.

Several alignment techniques were tried and it seem easy to align using the shadow cast by a tube, cross-hairs target of telescope shadow itself.

For both types of telscope initial steps were taken decide which muon rates for what types of scintillator combinations will be most useful.  The normalization scheme using pairs of counters at teh top or bottom of the telescope worked well.

Great successes and lot of progress!