Jun 19, 2018

Can Thousands of Smartphones Help Detect Cosmic Rays?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, mobile phones, particle physics

Your smartphone has a particle detector on it, and scientists want you to help them uncover how the universe really works and maybe even discover the true nature of dark matter. There are just a few bugs to work out.

High-energy particles from space, called cosmic rays, constantly bombard the Earth. There are all sorts of things we might be able to learn about the universe by studying those particles. We’ve previously discussed high-tech, expensive equipment used to monitor them. But the physicists behind a new project want your smartphone to help gather data on these cosmic rays, hopefully revealing new insights into dark matter and other strange phenomena.

“This project can only be successful with a large number of people,” Piotr Homola, associate professor at the Institute of Nuclear Physics at the Polish Academy of Sciences, told Gizmodo. “We need public engagement on an unprecedented scale.”

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