"Hardware Hacking" is a term referring to either the modification, cannibalization or combination of new and/or old technologies to create something different, in order to solve a problem, make more affordable, convey an idea, art, experiment, tinker or just for the fun.
This cosmic ray detector works by detecting muons which are a by-product of cosmic rays hitting our atmosphere. It detects these muons using Geiger Muller tubes - the very same type of detector used in a Geiger counter to measure radiation. However, this detector uses 18 Geiger Muller tubes that are arranged in an XY array of 9 tubes oriented on an X-axis and 9 tubes on a Y-axis.
A Jacob's ladder is a wonderful exotic-looking display of electric white, yellow, blue or purple arcs, which is often seen in films about mad scientists. As a boy I was always fascinated by these in science displays, and as they were often powered from mains electricity it also gave off a wonderful 100hz v,v,voop! busts of sound as well.
As I hadn’t seen these displays in recent years other then small car ignition coil battery powered versions, I thought I'd make one as there was a Mini Marker Fair Adelaide I was attending.
Please note: A traveling-arc device is very dangerous. The spark can burn through paper and plastic and start fires. Contact with the high-voltage conductors can be lethal even if the high voltage power supply originates from a battery.
The aim of this project is to use a narrow beam of X-Rays to produce an image/data that reflects the armament of atomic and molecular structure of atoms in a crystal. The method used is called X-Ray crystallography where a narrow beam of X-rays is fired at a crystal, although most will pass straight through some of the x-rays are diffract by the lattice of atoms arranged in a crystal which sum and subtract to create an interference patterns at an angle to the main beam.
January in Australia is summer, and it is then we have our summer holidays. In Adelaide where I live it is also the hottest time of the year, sometimes reaching temperatures of 45 Degrees Centigrade (113F) with clear blue skies and weeks without rain.
Ideal weather for solar experiments with the kids, as they tend to become a little crazy staying inside out of the sun.
This project was an experiment to see if a multilayered array of Geiger–Müller Tubes (GMT) could track ionizing particles as they pass through. The result is an interesting display demonstrating how cosmic rays travel down through the atmosphere at different angles.
This Geiger–Müller Array (or Geiger tube telescope) exploits an effect called Electromagnetic Cascade as a means of significantly increasing the effective aperture of the detector while reducing other issues I've identified in experiments with cosmic ray detection.
In a 1964 publication Bruno Rossi first described an experiment where cosmic rays could penetrate dense materials. Finding that cosmic radiation at sea level could penetrate over 1m of lead. In these same experiments he was also surprised to record a higher rate of detection as the thickness of lead increased peaking at 1.5cm and then falling slowly.