When working in scientific research it is not always possible to have the experiment on-site. Especially the large-scale experiments researching particle and astroparticle physics are so complex and expensive, they are made only once in coordination of all involved science facilities. Examples of DESY's participations in such projects are the IceCube experiment in the Antarctica, the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and the planned Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). For astroparticle experiments additional aspects infringe the ability to build an experiment as the location and available infrastructure play a significant role. Since scientific data from these experiments is available via internet it can be analysed from home. The scientists and technicians that travel to the locations of the experiment, mainly do so for maintenance and upgrade of the experimental facilities.

    It is almost impossible for schools and teachers to arrange lessons about particle and astroparticle physics with the appropriate experiments. As can be seen in Student Experiments, DESY has developed and produced a large number of CosMO and Kamiokannnen experiments which were made available by DESY and other astroparticle physics institutes in Germany for student and school projects with cosmic particles.

    To expand the possibility of investigations with cosmic particles in the classroom and to reach a broader audience, the use of experimental data by students via the internet was introduced. DESY provides the internet portal Cosmic@Web which allows to analyse a large amount of data taken by different cosmic particle experiments running continuously at DESY, on the research vessel Polarstern and at the Antarctic station Neumayer III. A detailed description of the experiments, of the data structure, a proposal of interesting problems for students to investigate and a tutorial on how to use the web interface allow independent work. Students can analyse the data from the classroom or from home without direct contact to scientists.

    This offer is supported by the Gesamtmetall – Nachwuchssicherung and expands the spectrum of possibilities in the Netzwerk Teilchenwelt. The data sets also contain weather conditions such as temperature and atmospheric pressure. The Polarstern data additionally contains the position information. Cosmic@Web provides a simple tool that allows the investigation of many interesting problems by creating graphs with the data taken over several years. A few of them are listed here:

    • How does the cosmic particle rate depend on the angle of flight?
    • What is the influence of the Earth's magnetosphere on the cosmic particle rate?
    • Is it possible to detect Solar flares on the Earth's surface?
    • How long do muons "live"?

    On the following pages the different experiments will be introduced and examples of student exercises and investigations can be found.
    But generally, the motto is: You've got an idea? Try it!
     
    DESY, Zeuthen
    FS Polarstern
    Neumayer Station III

    Trigger Hodoscope

       

    CosMO Mill

       

    CosMO-muv

       

    LiDO

       

    Trigger Counter

     

    Neutron Monitor

     

    Weather Data

       

      The table gives an overview of which experiments are continuously taking data and where they are located. Each of them measures a multitude of different physical quantities. Instructions on how to analyze this data and display dependencies can be found in the manual How To.