Magnet study

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We made a magnet array on a box above 3 detectors spaced about foot apart from each other vertically. We then took data and found that in comparison to our control, an identical array except without magnets, we got more counts with magnets than without, which was the opposite of what we expected.

There are several reasons to the design on our set up. We decided to space the detectors apart so that we would have to curve a charged particle less because the further apart the detectors were the small the acceptance angle. We put the magnets above the detectors for two reasons. First was so that the curve would go a further distance before hitting the detectors and second was that we didn't want to move electrons from the PMT (Photo Multiplier Tube) away from their path.

We found that we had 200 more counts per 30 minutes with magnets than without. Our magnet data was about 2400 counts per 30 minutes and without was about 2200 counts per 30 minutes. The statistical fluctuation for these is about 46 counts per 30 minutes so this was no accident. We did 3 trials with and without magnets and it was clear that we were constantly getting more counts.

We still don't know what caused this but we are looking into the possibility of an electron being sucked in by the magnets and still going through all the detectors. Our magnets field was uniform at .42 mT and 5 cms thick and we needed 4.39T, a number closer to the strength of an MRI machine, to curve a muon out of the way of out third detector, but this makes us sure that we are not curving muons into the way of our detectors.

There are some possible reasons behind the unexpected increase in muon counts that we explored. A possible theory would be that there could be an abundance of muons coming from a difference angle rather than coming from directly downward. We did a few tests with this spacing two detectors and then testing them at different acceptance angles and found that there was a massive drop in counts, ruling out this idea. Another possibility would be that we didn't always take readings at the same time everyday in addition to the sporatic weather conditions of Santa Cruz. Muons have been recorded to come in at different rates dependant on the time of day and weather and this could have skewed our data. None of these are confirmed, however.

In conclusion there was a definite result that we are still looking to solve.