Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Citizen Science: Smart Phone App to Detect Cosmic Rays

Smart phones contain a silicon chip inside the camera that might be used to detect rare, high energy particles from outer space.

National Public Radio ---

Scientists in California are hoping to use your smart phone to solve a cosmic mystery. They're developing an app to turn your phone into a cosmic ray detector. If enough people install the app, the scientists think they'll be able to figure out once and for all what's producing the very energetic cosmic rays that occasionally hit the Earth.
The project is the brainchild of physicists Daniel Whitesonat the University of California, Irvine, and his buddy Michael Mulhearn at the University of California, Davis. Both spend time in Switzerland, working on the giant particle accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider. Whiteson says the Large Hadron Collider, located in a tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border near Geneva, is so huge and so complicated that scientists must share their time on the collider.

The reason this is possible is because smart phones use something called a CMOS chip inside their cameras. That's the same kind of chip that's used to detect particles generated by the Large Hadron Collider.

More - Link >>>

More about the project to detect cosmic rays: Link >>>

How to download the smartphone app, to detect cosmic rays: Link >>>

Source: National Public Radio.

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