Cosenza, discovering the mysteries of the universe: International Cosmic Day

Cosenza, discovering the mysteries of the universe: International Cosmic Day
Cosenza, discovering the mysteries of the universe: International Cosmic Day

What are cosmic rays and where do they come from? How can the particles that compose them be measured? These are some of the questions that around 200 high school students will try to answer on November 21st, together with their peers from all over the world. E. Fermi of Cosenza, IIS of Tropea, A. Volta of Reggio Calabria, E. Fermi of Catanzaro, E. Siciliano from Bisignano And S. Patrizi di Cariati during International Cosmic Day (ICD), organized in Cosenza thanks to the support of the researchers of the INFN Connected Group of Cosenza and the University of Calabria (UNICAL).

Students from the aforementioned Calabrian schools will meet the researchers of the INFN And of the UNICAL at 9:00 in the Aula Magna of the E. Fermi Scientific High School in Cosenza.

The International Cosmic Day aims to bring high school students closer to the world of cutting-edge scientific research, accompanying them through the mysteries of the Universe enclosed in cosmic rays. The Italian students, like other peers abroad, will analyze the data of a real cosmic ray detector, the instrument with which researchers “see” the shower of particles coming from the cosmos.

When cosmic rays pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, they interact with it and secondary particles are produced, which at sea level number around one hundred per second for each square meter of surface and per unit of solid angle.

The students will measure, using the instrument that the INFN Connected Group of Cosenza has made available to the 6 Calabrian schools, the number of ionizing particles present in the air that cross every minute a tile of a special plastic material capable of emitting a very weak flash of light every time an ionizing particle crosses it, in their school by exposing the instrument to the air, immersing it in a basin of water and sending it into the stratosphere with a weather balloon.

Before listening to the presentations of the results of their measurements, the meeting will open with the master’s lesson of DINFN Research Director emeritus doctor Lucia Votano, world-renowned expert in the observation of the Cosmos through a particular family of cosmic rays: neutrinos. The speech of the prof will follow. Marco Schioppa which will discuss the origin of cosmic rays and their long journey in the galaxy and finally a laboratory practice lesson with Dr. Davide Passarelli and Dr Giorgia Tassone.

Students from other Calabrian schools will be able to attend and participate in all the day’s interventions via video link. At the end of the day the students will be invited to prepare, as in a true international scientific collaboration, a short article in English summarizing the results obtained, and the papers will be published online.

The initiative is coordinated by the German research center DESY of Hamburg and organized in collaboration with, as well as with the INFN and other partners, with the most important research centers operating in the field of particle physics: the CERN of Geneva, Il FERMILAB of Chicago and the groups International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG), German Netzwerk Teilchenwelt and the American QuarkNet. In Italy the initiative is organized from the INFN in collaboration with the Universities that host the Sections, the Enrico Fermi Research Center and some Physics departments of Italian universities.

The Sections network INFN participants in the ICD is coordinated by OCHEROutreach Cosmic Ray Activitiesa program of the Third Mission Commission of the INFN, which collects scientific dissemination activities on the topic of cosmic rays.

With the aim of supporting teachers in involving students in the field of cosmic ray physics, OCRA organizes various activities for schools and citizens, and deals with the development and production of online tools and paths designed for educational activities.


The INFN ICD web page

The international ICD web page

The ICD Facebook page

The world map of participating institutions

ICD 2023 program


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