WISRD Journal 2021-2022

Cosmic Ray Group Presenting During Poster Session

April 28th, 2022: The shower study done on Cosmic Ray E-Labs yielded a hit coincidence at 14 to 12 to 10 to 8 all in one second, on April 19, 2022 01:57:53 UTC. This finding has raised questions like how can the hit coincidence change to four different values in the same second.

Event Date Hit Coincidence ΔT Detector Coincidence
[Channel Multiplicity]
Apr 19, 2022 01:57:53 UTC14 1 ( 6136[4])
Apr 19, 2022 01:57:53 UTC12 1 ( 6136[4])
Apr 19, 2022 01:57:53 UTC10 1 ( 6136[4])
Apr 19, 2022 01:57:53 UTC8 1 ( 6136[3])

April 26th, 2022: During the poster session, we had the opportunity to present to, and speak with Jed Leatherman, who is currently working with WISRD’s Recon Group. We started talking about a potential project with the cosmic ray detector that would involve looking at spaceweather.com to see the sun and asking whether there is an anti-correlation with the sun and cosmic rays. Every June there is a slight peek and there is a light peak. When the earth is further from the sun more cosmic rays are detected. The project would ask questions as to whether the detector count is higher depending on the position of the sun in relation to the earth.

April 25th, 2022: The Cosmic Ray group presented at the WISRD Spring Poster Session and lecture series. The poster we presented is linked here.

April 21st, 2022: Currently, WISRD’s Cosmic Ray Group is preparing to deploy the cosmic ray detector on the roof with the radio telescope to monitor coincident cosmic ray events and radio wave production. To prepare for this, the detector was calibrated. This process is called plateauing the detector. If the detector is not plateaued, it is possible for some cosmic ray collisions to be missed and not counted. The plateauing process starts with carefully raising the voltage supplied to the counters. This power is provided by the Quarknet distribution box. The voltage is raised until each counter is running at optimal voltage. The process to figure out if the optimal voltage is reached begins with increasing the voltage in 0.025V increments starting at 0.775, and taking down the coincidence count from each channel every time the voltage is increased. This process gives the plateau, a number of voltages when the counters operate at full capacity. Because we have the plateau, data has been recorded and WISRD’s Cosmic Ray Group is currently in the process of determining whether the data we have constitutes a shower. 

4/19/22: Because of the size of the universe, primary cosmic rays are constantly moving around which allows them to get energy from many different sources. This allows for primary cosmic rays to occasionally attain massive amounts of energy. Extended area showers are created when the primaries pass through the upper atmosphere. The more energy that the primary holds the larger section of the surface is affected. This creates a shower because of the rays that cover a larger area and have many particles. Currently, I am navigating Fermilab’s Cosmic Ray E-labs website, a website that is used to upload cosmic ray data, to try and conduct a shower study to see if the data that we collected constitutes a shower. I am using the online analysis tool on the e-Lab website. In order to do this, I have to change the shower study interface to set the levels of the detector, challel, and hit coincidence.


4/22: WISRD Board Retreat:

Annual Treasurer Report:


Since the last board meeting, WISRD has made 19 purchases coming to a total of 766 dollars and 36 cents. 

Previously, from November to January 21st, WISRD spent $2,480.57 on 12 purchases

That brings us to a total of around $3,246.93

For the Annual WISRD Treasurer Budget Report, It’s important that we talk about the overall financial state of WISRD and where we are currently in terms of budget. 

Joe, can you speak on WISRD’s budget?

Does anyone have any comments about the WISRD budget?

WISRD LGBTQ+ Committee Report:


  • The LGBTQ+ Committee drafted an LGBTQ+ Anonymous Survey For WISRD on google forms.
    • The questions included are…
      • Number 1, Have you experienced any discrimination in WISRD based on your gender identity or sexuality? 
      • Number 2, Have you witnessed anybody being discriminated against in WISRD based on their gender identity or sexuality??
      • Number 3, Do you have any suggestions on how WISRD can improve in order to better the experience for LGBTQ+ Students within WISRD?
      • And lastly, 
      • Is anything else you would like to say about your experience as an LGBTQ+ identifying individual in WISRD?
    • Max and Allyson, do you have anything else to add to this committee update?

To be an expert, know 3 people in your field, know 3 questions, and know 3 places where your research is being done.

Poster Session Date: Update, Poster Started. Doing 2 posters, 1 for cosmic ray collaboration with radio telescope, and 1 for just cosmic ray. And potentially one more for the Half Life of A Muon.

April 13th, 2022: Found the Half-Life of a Muon. When a cosmic ray enters the atmosphere, it collides with atoms in the atmosphere and produces a stream of ionized particles and electromagnetic radiation. This is called an air shower. The secondary radiation consists of various particles including positrons, pions, and electrons. Pions decay extremely fast into Muons, Gamma Rays, and Neutrinos. Muons are makeup the majority of particles that reach Earth’s surface. A muon is an elementary subatomic particle that is 207 times heavier than a similar particle, the electron. In 1936 American physicists Carl D. Anderson and Seth Neddermeyer discovered the muon when they were studying cosmic ray showers.  Thousands of muons pass through humans every second, but there is no danger from these particles at sea level. We are protected by Earth’s magnetic field. Muons are dangerous to astronauts because they do not have the protections garnered by Earth’s magnetic field. Delicate electronic equipment is also subject to malfunctions due to muons.

Poster Session Date: . Update, Poster Started

Question – Can WISRD’s Cosmic Ray Detector Group find instances of radio waves generated by high altitude cosmic events?

2022/03/23: On Cosmic Ray E-lab running shower study for data with correct geometry. Looking for showers.

2022/03/22: Shower Study ran for data file 21Mar2022_135437. coincidence for detectors 1,2  and 3,4 to indicate a shower activity. Trying to figure out how to change geometry on Cosmic Ray E-labs after the data has already been uploaded.


Uploaded file: data/EQUIP_13mar2022_100021 to QuarkNet. It is ready for shower study

Joe W

For Data and Benchmarks, I put them on the server. I uploaded this benchmark to Quarknet. This is the URL:. Username and password is found on the server under:.

ssh pi@—.—.—.–(IP ADDRESS)


Turn Remote Login On

Change directory to directory of file (i.e. cd Downloads/data)

scp file.txt your_username@your_ip_address:/Directory/You/Want/To/Copy/To (i.e. /Users/Tobey)

On the Pi type exit

Turn Remote Login Off



Journal Entry:

2/23/22 Journal Entry: To make sure the PMT is responding, We checked the distribution box and its working. Now were checking the photomultiplier to make sure they are working the way their supposed to by changing the voltage on the photomultiplier and changing the counts and making sure its an exponential decay.

2/16/22 WISRD LGBTQ+ Committee Meeting Minutes:

11:05:19 AM: What issues are LGBTQ+ members of WISRD Facing

Bathroom Issue

  • Wildwood School’s administration commented…WISRD Members who identify as non-binary dont have a bathroom to use in the WISRD hallway.


2/9/22 WISRD is hoping to collaborate with Daniel Whiteson at UC Irvine on the cell phone as Cosmic Ray Detector. He was instrumental in Pierre Auger Telescope in Chile. He also is part of the ATLAS collaboration which collects data at the Large Hadron Collider where the Higgs Boson was discovered. Collaborating with Whiteson on the cell phone as Cosmic Ray Detector would get the public interested in gathering data and understanding things they don’t ordinarily get a chance to seem, the particles around them. It would allow us to collect data on a large scale covering a lot of ground and enable us to do the cosmic watch, the phone cosmic ray detector, and the radio telescope, and intertwine each of them to find correlations in the data.

1/27/22. New Learning: Cosmic Ray Data uses UTC to track the time of each count. UTC is not a time zone. It is a time standard for civil time and time zones around the globe. No country uses UTC as a local time.

1/26/22. Tweet: Finding the half-life of a muon to test the reliability of our newly repaired Quark-net Cosmic Ray Detector in anticipation of integrating our radio telescopes and cosmic ray detectors to develop new findings beyond what has been discovered through the Hadron Collider. #WISRD

Half Life of a Muon Experiment:

January 27th, 2022: WISRD’s Quarknet Cosmic Ray Detectors’ panels are stacked to detect the secondary particle produced when a Muon decays.  Data from WISRD’s Quarknet Cosmic Ray Detector is uploaded to Quark Net’s Cosmic Ray E-lab where their operating system is used to analyze the data. The graph of the secondary particle created by Muon decay is exponential. This graph reveals the half life of a muon.

January 25th, 2022: I learned about hex to decimal. 123456789ABCDEF. 123456789_10_11_12_13_14_15. Graphing hex to decimal and the voltages can give us the ideal voltages. Saturated is when you keep increasing your voltage and your counts flatten off. You can do this by getting two detectors and setting one as a reference set with somewhere between 20 and 40 counts per second. The reference voltage stays constant. Then with the other one, it ramps. Then look at the coincidence. Conicidences become leveled off. And that gives us the voltage that we want to run at. The scatter plot below shows where the coincidence becomes leveled off. We can use this to grab the voltage that we want to run the detector at.

January 25th, 2022: WISRD newly added a raspberry pie computer to the Quarknet Cosmic Ray Detector. I learned how to operate the Quarknet Cosmic Ray Detector through the Rasberry Pie. After getting on the interface, I checked each page: Control Panel, TOT Moniter, Rate Moniter, Shower Moniter, and Geometry. After I to accessed these windows, I checked the rate monitor. and found something strange. The rate monitor Channel 1 and 2 of the Quarknet Detector dropped significantly. We anticipate that the issue was a result of the connector being bumped. The connector is sturdy and should not produce falty data when bumped. We thought of a way to check the connectors. We isolated the connectors to ensure there was no more bumping into them. If this improves the data, we can argue that the connector was certainly bumped. The connector is a 3.5mm jack.

After I learned how to access these windows, I checked the rate monitor. and found something strange. The rate monitor Channel 1 and 2 of the Quarknet Detector dropped significantly. was outputting data that was Cosmic Ray Data from the . After looking at the Rate monitor, channel 1 and 2 had dropped significantly . We anticipate that it was the connector. That shouldn’t happen even if it gets bumped. Were trying to think of a way to check the connections. Now wever isolated the connectors. if the solution holds, we can argue that thee connector was bumped. However. In order to fix it we have to isolate the bad connector. 3.5mm Jack.

Voltages on PMT 11:25 1/24/2022

0 .785 .805

1 .796 .720

2 .780 .775

3 .733 .725

November 30th: Tweet:

November 25th:

November 20th: WISRD’S Cosmic Ray Group has begun a process called ‘plateauing to find the optimal supplied voltage for the Quarknet Cosmic Ray Decector’s photomultiplier tube.

November 11th: Tweet:

November 10th: WISRD’s Cosmic Ray Group has added verniers to the distribution box for the Quarknet Cosmic Ray Detector.

November 1st, 2021: WISRD’S Cosmic Ray Group has begun calibrating the Quarknet Cosmic Ray Detector to eventually start taking viable data.


October 15th: Still waiting on shipment. Uploading code to previously built cosmic ray detectors.

October 1st: Organization of parts complete. Shipment is placed.

September 15th: Tweet: WISRD’S Cosmic Ray Array Group is back in person and currently preparing to build the cosmic ray detectors.

September 1st: WISRD’S Cosmic Ray Array Group is currently taking inventory and organizing parts for the Cosmic Watch cosmic ray detector.

August 24th, 2021: Start of WISRD in Senior Year

Relational Data Base Project Started April 19th, 2021

https://quarknet.org/content/resources-cosmic-ray-analyses-online adams@fnal.gov

Diploma for Fermilab’s Saturday Morning Physics
Certificate for Fermilab’s Saturday Morning Physics

UPCOMING PROJECTS: Continuation of cosmic ray array and cosmic ray research. Attending a scientist talk titled Mapping the Origins of the Universe, on February 16, 2021, from 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm (CT) Registration link https://bit.ly/3tGeHv1 . New Saturday Science program starting in April. Meetings will occur Saturday mornings 3,10,17,24, Further details involving this program will be released in early march from Juliet M. Crowell at University of Chicago’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.


***Received Diploma from Fermilab’s Saturday Morning Physics

February 11th, 2021 WISRD UPDATE: The past 4 or 5 months has been spent discussing and analyzing radio telescope data. Today, the Radio Telescope group has decided to narrow down on a project. For this project we are mapping the sky at the Hydrogen 23 cm wavelength through 15 degree increments with the horizon. We anticipate creating a strip chart for each elevation that can be compiled as a part of our first paper. The data collection will continue. I will also be starting research on cosmic ray analysis in preparation for when WISRD starts meeting in person and the cosmic ray detector construction continues. https://quarknet.org/content/resources-cosmic-ray-analyses-online

Tobey analyzing Data for the radio telescope

January Update: WISRD’s work in radio astronomy was featured at a webinar yesterday presented by the American Astronomical Society. Presenter Dr. Glen Langston’s slide deck included acknowledgments of WISRD’s contributions with images of our work. He remotely connected to WISRD’s radio telescope and shared our data in real-time. Congratulations to Allyson, Nnenna, Tobey, Max, and Emile for this acknowledgment of their work.

WISRD UPDATE: Currently, Mr. Steiner is in attendance at Fermilab’s Saturday Morning Physics. The weekly class that he has been attending since September 26th, 2020 is soon coming to an end on December 12th, 2020. Mr. Steiner and Joe decided that the Cosmic Ray Array will get up and running after the start of 2021. Mr. Steiner is currently in the process of analyzing data with the Radio Telescope group. He has learned about coding and improved upon his strength in data analysis during this process.

Attended Flipping the Switch On Right and Wrong:
The Evolving Nature of Ethics in Science
on Wednesday, December 9, 1PM-2PM 

I joined the Radio Telescope group to analyze data that the Radio Telescope has been collecting.

Tobey Steiner is participating in WWDD by analyzing data collected by the ATLAS detector. They are looking for Muon pairs in the data and then measuring the angles from a reference point for each muon. These measurements are used by scientists at CERN to calibrate the Hadron Collider.
There is a world-wide zoom webinar today at 2:00 pm pacific, featuring CERN scientists working with participants to interpret the collected data.
Tobey, Principal Investigator for WISRD’s Cosmic Ray Detector Group coordinated the event for WISRD’s participation.

World Wide Data Day

World Wide Data Day was a success!


alice in quantumland

10/17/20 Standard Model of Particle Physics Notes SMP

  • Fundamental Particles and their interactions is incorporated into the Standard Model, Everything we know about particle physics

-What is a Fundamental Particle?

+ Impenetrable: Infinitely Hard, cannot be broken down into smaller pieces

+ Indistinguishable: Every electron is identical to every other electron

+ Foundational: Building blocks from which everything is is made

History: Ancient Greeks believed water was the underlying principle behind all matter


Things in the works: World Wide Data Day, International Cosmic Day. https://quarknet.org/content/register-w2d2 https://indico.desy.de/indico/event/27426/registration/

10/5/20: Notes from second SMP Lecture: Special Relativity

Special Relativity:

  • Time dilation, length Contraction, simulatanety

-“The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics”

-Galileo Galilea

  • 1687 Newton: (Classical) gravity

9/30/20: I Attended a lecture by Elena Amato, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, about recent developments on the acceleration and transport of Galactic Cosmic Rays. I learned about recent discoveries on the subjects of acceleration and transport of Galactic Cosmic Rays. I also learned about high energy astrophysical observations, and direct cosmic ray detection data. I attended this lecture because it was about Cosmic Rays which I am very interested in and have worked with in the past in the Cosmic Launch project and I am currently working on the Cosmic Ray Array.


9/30/20 Notes from first SMP Lecture: Introduction

  • The Scientific Method: Observation => Hypothesis => Predictions => Experiment
  • Example:
  • Observation=Light Arrives from the sun and other stars
  • Hypothesis=Similar to sound, there is a medium through which light propagates
  • Predictions/Experiment=Since the earth is moving through the aether, the speed of light depends on the direction it is emitted
  • Example #2:
  • Observation=Earth seems to be rotating
  • Hypothesis=Laws of classical gravitation, classical mechanics, earths rotation.
  • Predictions/Experiment=Foucault’s Pendulum

-The scientific method needs logic/mathematics for predictions

-Experiment needs to be done with great care (unbiased, controlled)

-The choice of observation or question is extremely important

-Experiment should be designed to refute hypothesis

Foucault’s Pendulum (1851)

  • At the North Pole, pendulum is oscillating and earth is rotating beneath it.

SCIENCE: Science is the search for truth.

  • The catch is that we cannot confirm a hypothesis, we can only reject it! But as more and more tests fail to reject certain hypothesis, we accept it as “the truth as possible”

Particle Physics and Cosmology:

  • Gallei, 1564- 1642
  • Newton, 1643-1727

-Classical Mechanics

  • From Newton’s Laws of motion and some information like position, velocity, and forces, everything can be calculated: past and present of a system

-The Laws of Physics

  • Quantum Mechanics: Physics of very small scales, observable quantities are quantized, things are both particles and waves, measurements have intrinsic limited precision.
  • Relativity: Physics of fast moving objects, physics is dependent of the reference frame, the speed of light is the limit.

Fermilab Saturday Morning Physics Schedule

Fermilab’s Saturday Morning Physics Schedule

9/23/20 Acceptance to Fermilab’s Saturday Morning Physics.

9/21/20 Article Research: Fermilab.

  • America’s particle physics and accelerator laboratory
  • Mission: Solving the mysteries of energy, matter, space, and time.
  • Fermilab hosts DUNE and the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, being built by scientists and engineers from more than 30 countries.
  • Fermilab explores the universe at the smallest and largest scales, studying the fundamental forces and particles that control our universe
  • Fermilab builds, designs, and operates powerful accelerators to investigate natures building blocks, advancing technology for science and society

9/16/20 WISRD Article Topic and study focus for next few months: What can Neutrinos Tell us? Why would anybody be studying Neutrinos? – Fermilab History. Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. Neutrino Catastrophe Cern. More Matter than anti matter (right hand over left hand) Solar Neutrino Problem.

9/11/20 COSMIC RAY ARRAY GROUP ELEVATOR ACTIVITY: We are the Cosmic Ray Array Group. Our Goal is to build an array of cosmic ray detectors across SOCAL. Previously, our group participated in a rocket launch for NASA. Our Cosmic Ray Detector was launched in the payload of the rocket. We used the data to test the question, can a cosmic ray detector withstand flight? Our array is important because the data that we collect will contribute to the world of space and science.

Award for our Payload from the NASA Student Launch

9/3/20 TWEET: Update: Not to worry! COVID-19 has not stopped the fast-paced cosmic ray array group! Prior to the pandemic, the Cosmic Ray Array Group launched a rocket for the NASA Student Initiative! Currently, the Cosmic Ray Array Group is preparing to build an array of detectors to be placed across Southern California! More updates to come soon. Stay tuned. And that’s all from the Cosmic Ray News.
The Cosmic Ray Array group is also in the research phase of working with the Radio Telescope group in measuring and comparing the data of a cosmic ray shower and a radio wave.

Start of Junior Year.