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Educator Resource: Field Trip

Cosmic Radiation

Cosmic radiation constantly bombards the earth. This natural radiation is harmless and invisible to people, but these particles could be ruinous to the sensitive detectors operating at Sanford Lab.
High School
Time required
~1 hour

We are constantly bombarded by radiation from space, called cosmic rays. These cosmic rays can create deceiving signals in sensitive detectors, which would mask genuine indications of astonishingly rare interactions; so scientists at Sanford Lab go a mile underground to escape them. Students will learn the origin and properties of cosmic rays, use a cloud chamber to visualize the passage of ionizing radiation, and analyze data recorded by modern cosmic ray detectors.