Article | Cosmic Radiation

Proving the cave effect

6 January 2020 — Gabe Stevens

On Tuesday the 19th of December 2019, we, the Astrophysics team of the Entreprise Sciences headed to the caves in Berdorf with one of our cosmic ray detectors. Our aim was to prove the cave effect. The cave effect states that the cosmic muon flux drops when in a cave compared to the outside environment. Motivated we set of at around 12 o'clock, 11 strong.

Our experiment consisted of three measurements with our detector. The first two measurements would be performed in two separate caves and the last would be outside next to one of the caves. This was done so that we could have a more conclusive comparison. Each measurement lasted 30 minutes.

The first cave was a rather simple one, we were easily able to access it and after walking for about 20 metres we placed the detector on a safe spot and started the process. The second cave however was slightly trickier given that we had to put the detector slightly deeper into the cave this time, allowing for a more accurate results. After a final measurement outside we set of back to school to analyse the data we had collected.

The results were very promising, clearly less muons were detected in the caves compared to the outside, thus proving the cave effect. This was another successful mission by the astrophysics team of the Entreprise Sciences. If anyone wants to inquire further about this mission or theme we will soon be publishing the corresponding scientific paper to this mission.

Author(s): Gabe Stevens
Editor: Andrea Grana
Team(s): Astrophysics Lab