Special relativity in the school laboratory: a simple apparatus for cosmic-ray muon detection

Singh, P and Hedgeland, H (2015). Special relativity in the school laboratory: a simple apparatus for cosmic-ray muon detection. Physics Education, 50(3) pp. 317–323.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9120/50/3/317

Abstract

We use apparatus based on two Geiger–Müller tubes, a simple electronic circuit and a Raspberry Pi computer to illustrate relativistic time dilation affecting cosmic-ray muons travelling through the atmosphere to the Earth's surface. The experiment we describe lends itself to both classroom demonstration to accompany the topic of special relativity and to extended investigations for more inquisitive students.

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