The ALTA-BC module demonstration

The demonstration for this presentation consists of a look at the ALTA-BC module, which is made up of three scintillating photodetectors, a computer, and a GPS timing unit. ALTA-BC is a project, started in Alberta, which hopes to set up a huge array of detectors, with the cooperation of teachers and students, on highschool roofs around Alberta and the Pacific Northwest. This exciting experiment will be a unique venture in particle physics and science education! Learn more about ALTA.

Students are first shown the computer program which detects the GPS satellites to obtain the nanosecond timing accuracy required to link together the many ALTA detectors that we hope will be on highschools around BC, Alberta and Washington state. The three pohotodetectors will have been gathering data during the introductory lecture, and this data will be displayed and explained thanks to a graphical computer program.

Artist's impression of three 0.5 m^2 scintillators on a school roof detecting an air shower. The component in the centre is a GPS receiver for accurate timing of each event. (Figure by Jim Pinfold, UofA).

Introduction : What is a cosmic ray? : Where do UHE cosmic rays come from? : How can we detect UHEs? : The ALTA-BC module demonstration : Contact us to get a presentation at your school! : Back to the Phys 420 demo page