Muon Camera

Note: This concept builds upon some of my successful cosmic ray detector projects. The proposed detector represents an experimental endeavour that holds potential. At its core, this detector aims to offer directional information, allowing us to pinpoint the specific region of the sky from which a muno has originated. While its capabilities remain speculative, it holds promise for additional functionalities and enhancements in the future.

Remarkably, utilising muons generated by cosmic rays to penetrate substantial and impenetrable structures such as pyramids, mountains, and nuclear reactors is not a novel idea. However, it has remained largely inaccessible to the general public.

Over the course of several years, I have successfully built several muon detectors. Throughout this period, my focus has centred on the experimentation and refinement of solid-state muon detectors and the application of voltage-summing amplifiers to facilitate coincidence detection within stacked detector arrays.

Drawing upon imagination, I have conceived a captivating possibility: employing the aforementioned method to develop a virtual collimator akin to the individual pixel-like functionality observed in the compound eye of Arthropods, known as Ommatidia. Using Muons may open up a world of intriguing prospects.

Ommatidium within a compound eye

Where a muon camera using Si Pin Photodiodes stacked one above the other in an array. So that only muons coming from one specific direction are amplified fully.

This creates a virtual collimation effect where each detector’s output signal is added together using a voltage-summing operational amplifier. Consequently, only when a muon travels directly through the entire length of 8 detectors, can the highest signal amplification be achieved. Whereas muons or local background radiation passing through at right angles will have a lower signal and so can be filtered.

If an array of 16 of these virtual collimators were grouped to form a rudimentary compound eye.

Then an image might be created based on the summed count rates of each virtual collimator spanning several week/days for a specific elevation angle and location coordinates.  Possible caverns or thick, dense material concealed within a mountain may result in lower count rates than the surrounding detectors or in different locations and/or elevation angles. 

This design is not solely limited to this use: 

  • As it could also be used individually as a single cosmic ray telescope.  
  • In a minor coincidence bundle like I have used in my Cosmic Array art project  ( the impetus that created this new design).
  • In other linear array configurations using raster scanning methods or,
  • Meridian drift scanning for an “all of sky” muon mapping.