Cosmic Rays and Lightning

We have a big team working on the Lightning project this summer.  We’re trying to establish experimental evidence that lighting is triggered by cosmic-ray muon showers.  We finally gave up on the lightning detector boards we have been using, and we’re going with a custom-designed detector board based upon a known working design.  The team has prototyped it, and we’re starting to test.  So far, we know it works with a high-voltage spark transformer “Jacobs Ladder,” but we haven’t successfully recorded actual lightning strikes yet.
We have all the parts we need for the new design, and Simon is designing a custom PCB.  (see the article in Physics Today:  “Runaway Breakdown and the Mysteries of Lightning”)


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