Frontiers of modern physics

Seminar for Young Scientists, Postgraduate Students and Undergraduates

New detector for Thunderstorm Ground Enhancement (TGE) detection in American Midwest

Thunderstorms are a regular feature of weather over the American Midwest. These storms can occur throughout the year, but the "storm season" extends from the end of March through the end of October, when cold dry air from Canada collides with warm, moist air that moves up from the Gulf of Mexico. Storms in the midwest can develop tall towers (20 km) and can form into lines, supercells and can show features like extremely strong winds, derechos and when rotation is present, they can become tornadic. We report on our effort to look for photons (TGEs) from these storms. In particular, we will report on our development of 10 detectors that are designed to be deployed at local high schools in western Illinois. These detector packages are flexible and configurable and are designed to use as much off-the-shelf hardware as possible. Currently they are configured to measure energy spectra of photons in the 50 keV to 2 MeV range (using NaI), the pressure, temperature, relative humidity and electric field. An onboard source will allow us to calibrate spectra under a wide range of environmental conditions. Using our own python based software, a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino Mega as a microcontroller, we should be ready to deploy and begin accumulating data within 2 months.

Christopher Fasano		Professor and Chair Department of Physics Monmouth College
 16:00, Tuesday 30 July            YerPHI seminar hall, 3-rd floor