12-20 July 2017
Asia/Seoul timezone
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BEXCO - Room F(201/202/203/204)

[CRI218] Muon Lifetime Measurements in Water Cherenkov Detectors



Primary authors

  • Hernán ASOREY (Laboratorio Detección de Partículas y Radiación, Instituto Balseiro y Centro Atómico Bariloche (CNEA/CONICET/UNCUYO) and Inst)


  • Manuel GONZALEZ (Laboratorio Detección de Partículas y Radiación y Laboratorio de Bajas Temperaturas, Instituto Balseiro y Centro Atómico Bari)
  • Xavier BERTOU (Laboratorio Detección de Partículas y Radiación, Instituto Balseiro y Centro Atómico Bariloche (CNEA/CONICET/UNCUYO))


The Latin American Giant Observatory (LAGO) is a cosmic ray observatory at regional scale, consisting of a wide network of water Cherenkov detectors (WCDs) located at several sites in ten Latin American countries. One of the main academic objectives of LAGO is to support the development of astroparticle physics in Latin America. The decay time of atmospheric muons can be measured from data collected by a single WCD. These muons are constantly produced during cosmic ray interactions in the atmosphere, mainly through the decay of charged pions at typical altitudes of a few kilometers. Decaying muons in the water volume are identified by looking at the time distribution of the signals recorded by the detector, allowing to precisely determine the muon lifetime in water. In this work we present how the measurement can be done by applying standard data analysis techniques on real data collected in a LAGO WCD located in Bariloche, Argentina. We discuss how this experiment can be used during undergraduate experimental physics courses to introduce multiple complex concepts: Lorentz time dilation, weak interaction processes, radiation detector physics, atmospheric physics, Poisson statistics and data analysis techniques.