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Old February 20th, 2005, 11:28 PM
Malenfant
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4282657.stm

From what I can gather, this uses ambient muons formed by cosmic rays to track radioactive material... can even detect through lead. Sounds as if it works like a kinda neutrino sensor/densitometer type thing... what would people here make of it for Trav purposes?
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Old February 21st, 2005, 03:01 AM
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Nope.

It's detecting particles; weakly interacting and yet high energy ones at that. It's a kind of 3D Electron Macroscope, except it's using other muons, not electrons per se, generated naturally, and then back-angling for the interaction paths to generate the substance contained as a 3D density map.

It functions as a passive reciever, but the net result is a passive 3D imaging densitometer.

Cool stuff.
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Old February 21st, 2005, 03:07 AM
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It appears to just be a charged particle detector, tuned to recognize cosmic ray muons (which regularly reach the ground, and are generally the most penetrating component of cosmic rays other than incidental neutrinos). The claim that muons are harmless is false (they're ionizing radiation), it's just that the device is using background radiation (which is present anyway), and detecting very low radiation levels.
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