IFJ PAN presents first CREDO particle detector data collected by participants’ smartphones
The Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow presented the “first light” of the detector, i.e. the first data of scientific value, collected by the smartphones of the project participants from ca. 20 countries. The CREDO project allows each of us, using our smartphone, to co-create the largest cosmic ray particle detector covering the entire planet.
The application was developed as part of the international Cosmic-Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory (CREDO) project. Its initiators and coordinators are scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow (IFJ PAN). Researchers coóThey are cooperating with colleagues from the Cracow University of Technology, who have been working on the LHCb experimentówho are responsible for supervisingór, maintenance and expansion of the application. For collecting and processing data coming in from all over the world, not just from smartphoneóIn turn, the Academic Computer Center CYFRONET of the Academy of Górniczo-Hutnicza University of Science and Technology in Krakow. The project is a wspóFunded by the governments of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through the Visegrad Grants program under the International Visegrad Fund (IVF).
CREDO Week 2018 is currently underway at the IFJ PAN. This is a week-long series of lecturesów, workshopóin and scientific meetingsów and enthusiastsów involved in the construction of the ogólnoplanetary cosmic ray particle detector CREDO. The first subgroup of the detectorów operating within the CREDO Observatory are smartphones equipped with the CREDO Detector app for Android. It transforms smartphones scattered around the world into a single research device with unique detection capabilities. Currently, after a period of testów, CREDO’s distributed infrastructure has matured to the point where theórym it became possible to begin reliable observations. The first data collected in the project have already been presented.
– Wspóhe modern science faces challenges of exceptional technical complexity. With construction costs running into the billions of euros for the current gas pedalów and detectorów, often taken decades to erect, any alternative, well-thought-out design is something worth considering. That’s why we and our partners have committed to creating CREDO, a project that is not only inexpensive and relatively easy to implement, but most importantly can, with public involvement, provide exceptional data on the most fundamental aspects of our physical reality – said, quoted on the website of the IFJ PAN, Prof. Ph. Marek Jeżabek, director of the Institute.
As Dr. hab said. Piotr Homola (IFJ PAN), who heads the CREDO project, several thousand users were involved in the early tests of the projectów. The first data presented, in turn, is the result of the involvement of several hundred passionateóin science from about 20 countriesów. – The more of us there are, the greater the chance for valuable discoveries – admitted Homola.
CREDO Detector is not the first application of its kind developed to detect cosmic ray particles or local radioactivity. But it is the only one based on open, accessible code for everyone. CREDO Detector is part of a global scientific endeavor dedicated to studying the laws of nature at a fundamental level.
After installing the app, you need to register with CREDO. It is worthwhile to do so by providing real contact information, and this is because anyone who contributes to the data collection has the right to support theóhe authors of scientific publications based on this data. CREDO is no different: a user whoóry at least for a moment runs particle detection in the CREDO Detector, is entitled to membership in the international CREDO collaboration and to sign its publications with his name. The program is available free of charge. For Android smartphones it can be downloaded from the official Google Play store or the IFJ PAN account.
An incoming radiation particle from far space, with energies on the order of the highest observed in the Universe, initiates a spectacular phenomenon in the Earth’s atmosphere: a giant cascade of particles wtórnych, called the great atmospheric burst. One such particle is capable of producing a cascade thatóra can cover the surface of a large agglomeration with its size.
Where do the primordial particles with such extreme energies come from, hundreds of millions ofóin times larger than those achieved by protons accelerated at the LHC gas pedal? Are they indicative of dark matter particle decays? Or perhaps they herald a whole new physics? For these questions supportóThe modern physics can helpóc answer virtually anyone who owns a smartphone with a camera and installs the CREDO Detecor app on it.
Particles of cosmic radiation can be detected by a smartphone. Just take a picture with the lens covered. The picture should be completely black, but when a particle of cosmic or local radiation passes through the camera’s detector while the picture is being taken, it can excite some of itsóre pixels. Lighter pixels will then appear on a black background. And such „failed” images are of interest in the CREDO Detector app.
Measurements with a smartphoneów rely on recording and porównnalizing the timeóin particle detection. It is currently assumed that high-energy particles arriving from space reach Earth randomly and fairly uniformly from all directionsów. However, in 1983, the detector networkóin cosmic radiation within five minutes observed 32 instances of large bursts over Manitobaóin the atmosphere, i.e., cascades of wt particlesórnych initiated by high-energy cosmic radiation interacting with the Earth’s atmosphere – We read on the Institute’s website.
CREDO researchers are looking for similar particle cascades in róof different places on Earth. Confirmation of the occurrence of such clustersóIn events, on top of being somewhat blurred in time, it could, for example. indicate that particles with róThe program is available free of chargeóa tangible wayób interact with the quantum structure of space-time.
– With us, science really happens live, right in front of the user’s eyesów. What’s more, they in the process can actively participate, and even using the latest data can conduct their own analysis. Investigating scientific discoveries, then, looks to us a bit like preparing a pizza in front of a customer’s eyes: before we are captivated by the final product, we can see all the stages of its preparation as if it were – noted Homola.
The scientist added that the graphs presented at CREDO Week 2018 were based on raw data. On someórych we can see some deviation from a homogeneous distribution, but due to the small statistics, these may be just simple fluctuations. – We will have to wait for breakthrough conclusions – explained Homola.
Capturing correlations between events recorded by rótion of different detectors, including the head of theówn smartphones, would allow us to gain new information not only about events involving extremely energetic particles of ordinary matter, but perhaps róalso about the properties of dark matter particles, the nature of quantum gravity, and potentially even the deepest structure of space-time itself.