Sunday 24 August 2008

I'm in love with a muon detector

Something exists on our planet, that "spends its time "silently counting cosmic flotsam called muons" – ghost particles that ceaselessly rain down from space".

This thought is very soothing right now.
And not only that, but this silent muon counter is branching out beyond its principle astrophysics specialism. When repurposed, muon counters can see inside thick stone, can discern intricacies of structure inside an archaeological ruin that has long been reclaimed by the rainforest. So they're using it as a non-invasive archaeological tool to pick out detail of the interiors of mayan ruins that currently lie beneath thick green mounds throughout the Amazon rainforest, without tearing them apart. They just sit the muon detector by the side of the mound, and it quietly goes about listening, counting and mapping. Far out.

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