In this paper, we report on the construction and upgrade of a 2002 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Quanknet Cosmic Muons Detector. By adapting this model, we modify the electronics and mechanics to achieve a highly efficient gamma-ray and cosmic-ray detector. Each detector module uses a one-inch-thick scintillator, attached to a photomultiplier tube (PMT) and mounted on a solid aluminum frame. A mechanical support was designed to allow flexible positioning between the two modules. The detector uses scintillation to transform passing radiation into detectable photons that are guided toward a photocathode surface of the PMT, triggering the release of photoelectrons that are then amplified to yield measurable electronic signals. The modules were connected to an electronics section that compared the signals from the two PMTs and logically determined if they were coincidence events. A data-collection device was added for faster count rates and to enable counts for extended times ranging from a few hours to days as needed. Count rates were taken at a variety of distances from the radioactive source, 60Co (cobalt), which produced two gamma rays and a beta particle. To investigate the isotropic behavior of radiation, two detection modules were adjusted to different angles of rotation with respect to each other, and the coincidence counts were measured. The coincidence counts from the modules set at various angles were consistent throughout the angular spectrum, and only lead shielding visibly reduced the number of counts from the radioactive source. The inverse-square-law behavior of radiation has also been considered. The results were such that the number of counts decreased as a function of increasing distance from the source. Furthermore, positioning the detector to point toward the sky in different orientations, we measured cosmic ray muon flux as the angle from the vertical was decreased. In doing so, we scanned different patches of the atmosphere. For the optimum operation during the detection phase, we plateaued both PMTs to single out their best operating gain voltage while eliminating false background noise signals. The detector is more efficient and adaptable in collecting both gamma rays and cosmic-ray muon-flux information.
Bachri, A. and Grant, P. C.
"Analysis of Gamma Rays and Cosmic Muons with a Single Detector,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 64
, Article 10.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol64/iss1/10