Welcome to the Cosmic Ray Net

The Cosmic Ray Net is the venue where we present hands-on, do-it-yourself experiments with cosmic rays. Such DIY studies are a wonderful introduction to both astrophysics and particle physics.

Most of the experiments on this website will employ a low-cost data acquisition (DAQ) instrument named FemtoDAQ. The instrument is commercially available and it even has its own website www.FemtoDAQ.com. In addition to FemtoDAQ we will employ readily available detectors and electronic parts. We will also build and test our own detectors of various kinds. We do not guarantee that our creations will be flawless. We will learn from our mistakes. Our goal is having fun with cosmic rays, detectors, and electronics.

Why Cosmic Rays?

There are several reasons why cosmic rays are worth investigating. They are available worldwide 24 hours, seven days a week. They do not require any license or certification to be used for experimentation. They are reasonably identical worldwide (though their intensity depends on altitude). Results of cosmic ray experiments performed anywhere can be compared to one another. Cosmic ray intensity is sufficient for experiments, yet low enough to avoid problems that might be caused by more intense sources of radiation. Last, but not least, cosmic rays are free!

Why FemtoDAQ?

FemtoDAQ is a very modern instrument that utilizes the Digital Pulse Processing technology. (We promise to write an article on DPP in the future.) Despite being small and inexpensive, FemtoDAQ is a high quality device which originated in our work on "big science" data acquisition. (We promise to describe our "big science" endeavors on this website ;-). When using FemtoDAQ, we will never have to sacrifice the quality of our results. Last, but not least, being the FemtoDAQ creators we understand how to use it in the most creative way.

Those who prefer using some other DAQ instrument can follow the procedures and prescriptions published on this site. We will welcome such parallel efforts and we are very eager to compare the results. Please do not hesitate to let us know what you are doing and how your results compare with ours.

Contact us for more info

Updated Feb/28/2016.
© 2016 by CosmicRayNet.