The particle detector in your pocket: the Distributed Electronic Cosmic-ray Observatory
August 16, 2017
August 03, 2018
The total area of silicon in cell phone camera sensors worldwide surpasses that in any experiment to date. Based on semi-conductor technology similar to that found in modern astronomical telescopes and particle detectors, these sensors can detect ionizing radiation in addition to photons. The Distributed Electronic Cosmic-ray Observatory (DECO) utilizes the global network of active cell phones in order to detect cosmic rays and other energetic particles such as those produced by radioactive decays. DECO consists of an Android application, database, and public data browser available to citizen scientists around the world (https://wipac.wisc.edu/deco). Candidate cosmic-ray events have been detected on all seven continents and can be categorized by the morphology of their corresponding images. We present the DECO project, a novel particle detector with wide applications in public outreach and education.
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