Dependence of Muon Rate on Pressure

 

We wish to see if the rate of detection of vertically traveling muons depends on the atmospheric pressure. We know that there are large variations in pressure as one descends through the atmosphere, but the densest air is relatively close to the ground and we will take the surface air pressure at the same location as our muon telescope to be the characteristic number in this experiment.

               

Procedure

How much does atmospheric pressure change in the course of an hour?  A day?  A week?  Which one of these time periods seems like it would be a good length of time to collect data for?    

 

Analysis

Calculate muon rates and uncertainty in rate.  Plot muon rate as a function of pressure; each of the plotted points should have uncertainty bars.  To be confident that an apparent difference is “real” you need to see variations of greater than twice the uncertainty you associate with each value.

 

By looking at the graph and deciding whether there is a trend in the variations significantly beyond the uncertainty, you will have a good idea whether the muon rate varies with the atmospheric pressure.