Patrick Stowell: “Cosmic Rays for a Changing World”


Cosmic rays are a continuous source of background for many high energy particle physics experiments. Whilst a nuisance for high sensitivity detectors, cosmic rays also provide us with a high energy test beam right on our backdoor, offering exciting opportunities for outreach but also industrial applications of nuclear remote sensing techniques without the need for hazardous artificial radiation sources.

In this seminar I will review applications of cosmic rays to remote sensing outside of the nuclear and high energy astro-particle physics sectors. In particular I’ll explain how portable muon sensors are being used to improve safety in Victorian railway tunnels, and how cosmic ray neutron sensors can be used to help farmers monitor the health of their soil.

Finally I’ll discuss how widespread industrial adoption of cosmic ray sensing techniques in the future could support research into extended cosmic ray air showers and ground level enhancements of cosmic ray radiation.