Cosmic Ray Decay

Cosmic particles are found everywhere in the Universe from various high and low energy interactions. Muon and Gamma decay are two of the most frequent decays studied because muons are one of the most common particles and gamma rays are found everywhere in the Universe from many different type of radioactive decays. We used scintillators in order to produce the two different decays. For the gamma decay, the goal was to find an unknown radioactive sample and to find the different ages of two Cesium-137 samples by using Cesium-137 and Cobolt 60 to calibrate the energies. After analysis, we found that the unknown sample given to us was Sodium-22. We also found that one of the Cesium-137 samples was 17.583 years old and the other was 37.80 years old. The goal for the muon decay was to analyze long term data to see if we could calculate the time dilation effect commonly calculated using muons.

Introduction

Muon Decay

The muon is an elementary particle with similar properties to an electron. Muons are formed high in the Earth’s atmosphere by energetic cosmic rays. The high energy rays produce an assortment of particles, some of which are negatively charged pions which eventually decay into muons (which are also ne