Elliott Liggett is a member of the Schantz Makerspace and a regular participant in Maker Faire Wayne County.  At the past Maker Faires, he built a Peltier cooled cloud chamber for observing subatomic particles.  Not one to take a break, Elliott is now working on a Muon Telescope using 30 geiger counters in a 5×6 matrix to observe the occurrence and direction of muons.  A Muon is an elementary particle, meaning it has no internal structure or is not made up of anything else. It is one of the building blocks of the protons in the nucleus of an atom and therefore is very small, yet its mass is much greater than an electron.

A line or path of high energy cosmic ray muons can be more indicated by a straight line of illuminated LEDs  Most muon detectors on the Internet use the simultaneous activation of only two Geiger tubes, but this muon telescope reliably indicates the direction of incoming muons by the illumination of two or more LEDs in a perpendicular or diagonal line.  Check-out this video of the Elliott’s muon detector in-action:

 

Muons are continuously bombarding the earth as “cosmic rays” and are created by collision of high-energy particles with gas molecules and/or dust in the upper atmosphere.   The high-energy particles are probably protons from exploding stars in deep space or possibly from our sun.  The life of a muon is too short to allow it to strike the earth, but yet many penetrate hundreds of meters through solid rock into the earth, seemingly impossible!

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