Searching for ultra-high energy cosmic rays with smartphones

Daniel Whiteson, Michael Mulhearn, Chase Shimmin, Kyle Cranmer, Kyle Brodie, Dustin Burns

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We propose a novel approach for observing cosmic rays at ultra-high energy (>1018 eV) by repurposing the existing network of smartphones as a ground detector array. Extensive air showers generated by cosmic rays produce muons and high-energy photons, which can be detected by the CMOS sensors of smartphone cameras. The small size and low efficiency of each sensor is compensated by the large number of active phones. We show that if user adoption targets are met, such a network will have significant observing power at the highest energies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalAstroparticle Physics
    Volume79
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

    Fingerprint

    cosmic rays
    sensors
    cosmic ray showers
    energy
    muons
    CMOS
    cameras
    detectors
    photons

    Keywords

    • Cosmic rays
    • Distributed computing
    • Smartphones

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Cite this

    Whiteson, D., Mulhearn, M., Shimmin, C., Cranmer, K., Brodie, K., & Burns, D. (2016). Searching for ultra-high energy cosmic rays with smartphones. Astroparticle Physics, 79, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.astropartphys.2016.02.002

    Searching for ultra-high energy cosmic rays with smartphones. / Whiteson, Daniel; Mulhearn, Michael; Shimmin, Chase; Cranmer, Kyle; Brodie, Kyle; Burns, Dustin.

    In: Astroparticle Physics, Vol. 79, 01.06.2016, p. 1-9.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Whiteson, D, Mulhearn, M, Shimmin, C, Cranmer, K, Brodie, K & Burns, D 2016, 'Searching for ultra-high energy cosmic rays with smartphones', Astroparticle Physics, vol. 79, pp. 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.astropartphys.2016.02.002
    Whiteson D, Mulhearn M, Shimmin C, Cranmer K, Brodie K, Burns D. Searching for ultra-high energy cosmic rays with smartphones. Astroparticle Physics. 2016 Jun 1;79:1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.astropartphys.2016.02.002
    Whiteson, Daniel ; Mulhearn, Michael ; Shimmin, Chase ; Cranmer, Kyle ; Brodie, Kyle ; Burns, Dustin. / Searching for ultra-high energy cosmic rays with smartphones. In: Astroparticle Physics. 2016 ; Vol. 79. pp. 1-9.
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