CERN Researchers Are Making a DIY Cosmic Ray Detector in Their Spare Time #piday #Raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi
Thanks to Mike for sharing this from Motherboard! Can you spy the Adafruit boards in their prototype pictured above? You can check out more here.
You can make all manner of things out of a Raspberry Pi but it might take a career at CERN to come up with the idea of a DIY cosmic ray detector.
A team of researchers from the Geneva-based nuclear research organisation, which is home to the Large Hadron Collider, have been spending some free time building what they hope will become “the world’s largest open source distributed cosmic ray telescope.” Dubbed Cosmic Pi, the idea is to design a small, low-cost device that people can build or buy, and then share data to create a crowdsourced telescope.
“The lofty aspiration of the project is to basically give people a slice of the whole of CERN in a box that they can put on their desk or on their mantelpiece or on their bookcase,” said James Devine, an electrical engineer and one of the Cosmic Pi founders, in a phone call.
“Obviously we can’t give people a slice of the LHC— it wouldn’t work and it’s too expensive and complicated—so we can use cosmic rays.”
Cosmic rays are high-energy particles that constantly bombard the Earth from space. As Devine pointed out, they’re actually many times more energetic than even the highest-energy particles accelerated in the LHC and they’re raining down on us for free, which makes them a great subject for citizen scientists.
When I asked why someone would want to detect cosmic rays at home, Devine said, “We kind of approached it from the other way around, I guess with the typical physicist and engineer’s perspective, in that of course people would want to detect cosmic rays, because they’re there.”
But he added that cosmic rays are interesting because they still harbour mysteries; for instance, the frequency of cosmic rays hitting the Earth fluctuates and their origins aren’t all known.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Python for Microcontrollers — Python snakes its way on the SparkFun SAMD21 Mini, Hackaday.io, 10k thanks, and Tim’s magazine #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF @Adafruit
Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !