Detection of muons
The objective of this experiment is to detect muons under “Martian condition”, using a portable muon detector provided by the University of Louvain. Discovered in cosmic rays in 1936 by Carl David Anderson and his assistant Seth Neddermeyer at Caltech, muons are elementary particles similar to electronsbut with higher mass (207 times mass of an electron). On Earth, Muons are produced by the breakdown of charged pions created in the upper atmosphere by cosmic rays. As muons have a high energy, time dilation effect described by special relativity makes them observable at the surface of the Earth. Therefore the observation of these muons demonstrate the Einstein equations. The MDRS is located at a high altitude (1400m) and so, observation of muons will be facilitated.
Cosmic rays have played a key role in physics and are still an important research topic at an international level. It would be relevant to analyze how particles as muons behave on the Martian atmosphere, and to compare it with what we observe on Earth. In fact, the Martian atmosphere is very different from Earth: low pressure (about 0.6% of the average Earth pressure), and 96% of CO2. The low density of Martian atmosphere makes that we expect a higher flow of muons.