CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research

International Cosmic Day 2013




Carolin Schwerdt, Marge Bardeen


Astroparticle physics is a young research field located at the interface between astrophysics, particle physics, astronomy and cosmology. Scientists worldwide are committed to school projects in order to give students insights into their research and answer questions like:

  • What are cosmic particles?
  • Where do they come from?
  • How can they be measured?

DESY, Fermilab, QuarkNet, and Netzwerk Teilchenwelt are organizing the 2nd International Cosmic Day on September 25, 2013 to bring all the different projects together. We invite school students to join us for experiments in this fascinating field.
Whether in nearby universities or research centers or in the classroom, you get in contact with real science and scientists and ...

  • Perform your own cosmic particle experiment.
  • Analyze and present your data on a common website.
  • Compare your own results with the results of others.
  • Work like in an international research collaboration.

Who can participate?
Every institution or school which has access to a cosmic ray experiment that is capable to carry out one of the measurements described below can participate! The Google Map gives an overview of the participants who already have signed up.

Register here
After an introductory talk on the research field of cosmic rays and their discovery, the participants will conduct a cosmic particle experiment themselves. They will make measurements, analyse the data, and present their results on a poster. Via a video chat all simultaneously participating groups can compare and discuss their results.
The universe is a big place. Cosmic rays drift around and get energy boosts from multiple sources. Some particles attain enormous energies. When they strike the upper atmosphere, they initiate Extended Air Showers. These events create thousands of particles that simultaneously reach a small section of Earth's surface. More energetic primaries affect larger sections of the surface.
On this International Cosmic Day we will focus on two questions which will be addressed by student experiments:

  • Coincident air shower measurements: Can you find out how often nearby detectors simultaneously “light up” with cosmic rays? If they do, is it a randomness or a measurement of one of these showers?
  • Zenith angle distribution of air shower particles: Can you find out if the number of air shower particles arriving from the horizon is the same as from above? If it is not, what could cause this effect?


Post date: Thu, Feb 14, 2013 — 11:04
Updated date: Mon, Jul 08, 2013 — 15:27

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