Smartphone is smart to detect cosmic rays


Is your smartphone smart enough to detect very high-energy cosmic rays that hit the Earth from space? Yes, claim physicists.

Researchers from University of California have tested that a smartphone camera can detect high energy photons and particles of the sort produced by cosmic rays.

When tested with radioactive isotopes of radium, cobalt, and cesium, it showed that the detector easily picked up gamma rays.

They also put a phone inside a lead box and showed that they could detect high energy particles.

Next, researchers took a phone up on a commercial flight and were able to obtain a particle track across the detector. The project is called CRAYFIS (Cosmic RAYS Found In Smartphones).

How it works?

When your phone is inactive and plugged in for charging, CRAYFIS monitors the camera, looking for signs of high-energy items striking the detector.

Researchers say, if they can get 1,000 active cell phones within a square kilometer area, they will be able to detect nearly all of the high energy cosmic rays that strike the atmosphere.

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