An idea of developing a new experimental facility for cosmic ray physics research with universities and schools widely drawn into carrying out experiments thorough the Internet has recently (since the early 1990s) been discussed in the world and are now being implemented in some countries. (Analogs)
Implementation of this project would allow:
- School students to get an idea about modern scientific research, specific features of modern experiment and scientific work;
- School students and teachers to participate in and present their scientific results at conferences (including international ones) and publish them in scientific journals;
- School teachers to advance in their professional skill, especially in what concerns current scientific problems, to use the thus obtained data in their teaching routine, and to publicize scientific activity among school students.
- To involve school students and teachers in exciting and real long-lasting work of noticeable benefit to science and to contribute to attractiveness of science to the youth.
A particular feature of this proposal is that an attempt is made not to reduce the range of participants to only those to study physics "under obligation" like university or school students. Participation in the project makes it unnecessary for those interested in it to wait until their educational institution finds it possible and becomes able to join the project. The project allows any Internet user to take part in the investigations, data processing, and obtaining of real new results.
Thus, due to modern technologies development, it becomes possible for the first time to make a popular facility which allows (when sufficiently developed), on the one hand, actually important first-rate scientific data to be obtained and, on the other hand, an unlimited number of interested people to take full part in these investigations and get, through the Internet, practical experience of participating in a modern interesting physics experiment. In addition, this will make it possible to gain a practical insight into both currently important fundamental scientific problems and scientific research methods.
Distribution of tasks in the project
All participants in the project are divided into "experts" and "participants".
Experts are those who developed and started up working stations and maintain their operation (see the section "Detectors->Systems"). Their task is to ensure all-day-round operation of the equipment and free access of the participants to the accumulated data, to provide data processing methods and to teach participants (through the Internet) how to use them and how to ask themselves questions and answer these questions using the real experimental data.
Participants are all those who have got interested in the project. Their task is to register, get access to the data, and carry out data processing on their own. They may further become real participants in the project, be given necessary and free advice from the experts, prepare and publish the results (first at the site and then, after reviewing, as a scientific paper), establish direct contacts with the participants in the project at any place all over the world, be promoted from participants to experts after becoming a head or a member of a group that put a new working station into operation (which seems better to do by a group, class, or school).
Possible tasks for participants
- The simplest task for novices (Introduction). Given in brackets after the task is its index, which allows the relevant methodological recommendations to be found in the section References.)
- Acquaintance with the class of statistical quantities (I-01)
- Acquaintance with the notion of time coincidence of signals (I-02)
- Learning to use the method for determination of the shower axis direction from the time information provided by detectors (I-03)
- Work with experimental data (Research)
- Investigation and construction of the cosmic radiation intensity dependence on the day/night period (R-01)
- Investigation and construction of the cosmic radiation intensity on the atmospheric pressure (R-02)
- Investigation and construction of the cosmic radiation intensity variation over a long period (month, year, ...) (R-02)
- Investigation and construction of the cosmic radiation intensity on the direction (R-21)
- Search for unusual phenomena in time correlations (R-22)
- Determination of the shower energy (R-23)
- General advance in sciences (Development)
- Cosmic rays: discovery, characteristics, open questions, relation to astronomy and astrophysics (D-01)
- Basic notions of elementary particle physics: particles, basic properties, interaction with substance, electromagnetic and hadron showers (D-02)
- Methods for detection of elementary particle (scintillation counters, photomultiplier tubes) (D-03)
- PC-based experimental data recording and formation systems (D-04)
- Operation of global positioning systems (GPS, GLONASS) (D-05)
- Methods for computer-aided processing of experimental data (D-06)
- Methods and programs for statistical processing of experimental data (D-07)
- Preparation of scientific papers (reports, articles) (D-08)