50 high school students discovering cosmic rays in Genoa

On Nov. 22, high school students from Genoa and province will participate in International Cosmic Day

What are cosmic rays and where do they come from? How can the particles that make them up be measured? These are some of the questions that we will try to answer on Nov. 22, at the same time as their peers from all over the world, together with 50 students from five schools (Liceo Scientifico Enrico Fermi, Liceo Scientifico Leonardo Da Vinci, Liceo Scientifico at Convitto Colombo, Licei Classico and Licei Scientifico Marconi Delpino) during the International Cosmic Day (ICD), organized in Genoa thanks to the support of the researchers and researchers of the Genoa Section of the INFN National Institute of Nuclear Physics. After two years of online meetings Genoa students will finally be in attendance to meet INFN researchers from 9 a.m. in the Computer Room of the Physics Department of the University of Genoa. In addition to Genoa, INFN will organize International Cosmic Day in the cities of Bari, Catania, Cosenza, Ferrara, Florence, Lecce, LNF, LNGS/GSSI, Milan Bicocca, Naples, Padua/LNL, Palermo, Pavia, Perugia, Pisa, Rome I, Rome Tor Vergata, Sassari, Siena, Turin, Trento/TIFPA, and Trieste.

International Cosmic Day aims to bring high school students closer to the world of frontier scientific research, accompanying them among the mysteries of the Universe enclosed in cosmic rays. Italian students, like other peers abroad, will analyze data from a real cosmic ray detector, the instrument with which researchers "see" the shower of particles from the cosmos. When cosmic rays pass through Earth's atmosphere, they interact with it and secondary particles are produced, which at sea level are in the number of several hundred per second per square meter of surface area. The students will analyze the flow of these secondary particles, measuring their intensity and trying to understand how it depends on the direction of origin. Then, through a video link, they will compare their answers with those obtained by groups of students around the world. At the end of the day, the students will be asked to prepare, as in a true international scientific collaboration, a short paper in English summarizing their results, and the papers will be published online.

The initiative is coordinated by the German research center DESY in Hamburg and organized in collaboration, in addition to INFN and other partners, with the most important research centers working in the field of particle physics: CERN in Geneva, FERMILAB in Chicago, and the International Particle Physics Outreach Groups (IPPOG), the German Netzwerk Teilchenwelt and the U.S. QuarkNet. In Italy, the initiative is organized by INFN in collaboration with the universities hosting the Sections.

The network of INFN Sections participating in ICD is coordinated by OCRA - Outreach Cosmic Ray Activities, a program of the Third Mission Commission, which brings together outreach activities on the topic of cosmic rays. With the aim of being supportive to teachers to engage students in the field of cosmic ray physics, OCRA organizes several activities for schools and the public, and is involved in the development and production of online tools and paths designed for educational activities.

For information:
INFN's ICD web page: https://web.infn.it/OCRA/international-cosmic-day/
The international ICD web page: http://icd.desy.de/
The ICD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/InternationalCosmicDay/
The world map of participating institutions: https://icd.desy.de/e25775/
ICD 2022 program: https://icd.desy.de/activities/