Muons2014

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Cosmic ray muons are detected and studied in the Physics Laboratory

Working under the supervision of Dr. Imran Younus, Uzair Latif has successfully detected and measured the lifetimes of muons. Muons are fundamental particles, about 200 times heavier than electrons, that travel at relativistic speeds and are produced in cosmic reactions. The large flux of muons reaching the earth provides an opportunity to study the properties of these particles.

In the nuclear and radiation physics laboratory at the Physics Department, Dr. Imran Younus and Uzair have used plastic scintillators, photomultiplier tubes and a scheme of fast electronic circuits and analyzers to measure the lifetime of the muons as they come to rest inside the scintillator material and decay.

In another part of the same project, the team has made important strides in designing a robust system for measuring the speeds of these particles. The work relies on intelligent use of electronic circuits, timings and the ability to measure and resolve coincidences at the nanosecond time scales. Furthermore, Monte Carlo simulations are developed to model the entire experimental process.

Soon this experiment will be added to the repertoire of experiments for advanced physics students and gives our students and researchers a unique window to explore the universe we live in and in particular, the study the elusive particle called the muon.

The work was part of Uzair's final year project.

Post-script: Physics Department launching its nuclear and particle physics laboratory

Particle and Nuclear physics deal with the constituents of matter at the most fundamental level. The experimental techniques developed for particle and nuclear physics experiments have broad applications in many fields, outside the realm of fundamental sciences, ranging from medical diagnostics to oil and mineral explorations!

Given the importance of these techniques, the Physics lab, under the supervision of Dr. Imran Younus, is developing a novel graduate laboratory which includes experiments in particle and nuclear physics. It is worthwhile to note that such a laboratory is non-existent in most developing countries and is also a unique idea as far as the developed world is concerned. What attracts us the most is that nuclear and particle physics experiments give an unparalleled diverse learning experience to students in the realms of electronics, instrumentation, software, data analysis, computation, simulations, relativity, atomic and nuclear physics, medicine and radiology.

Some experiments in nuclear physics and radiation offered by our Department include:

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