Making Way For Muography

Scientists in Japan and Hungary have announced the opening of the NEWCUT laboratory, the world’s first facility dedicated to the study of muography.

AsianScientist (Dec. 11, 2018) – A new research center for investigating muography—the NEWCUT laboratory—has been officially opened in Tokyo, Japan. The opening took place during the MUOGRAPHERS 2018 conference.

Like X-ray imaging, muography is a process of creating projection images that reveal the internal structure of things. While X-ray imaging uses radiation to form an image on a sensor or film, muographic images are made using muons, energetic subatomic particles created by cosmic rays in the atmosphere, which pass easily through the Earth. Both X-rays and muons are impeded to a greater extent by denser materials, hence their passage through samples can be used to visualize spatial information.

NEWCUT is a continuing collaboration between the University of Tokyo, information and communication technology giant NEC Corp., the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry and the Wigner Research Centre for Physics at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The aim of the lab is to create world-standard data for muographers around the globe to aid them in a range of muography applications.

“This laboratory represents a number of world firsts. This is the first dedicated muography lab, housing the first large-scale directional muon spectrometer,” remarked Professor Hiroyuki Tanaka of the University of Tokyo. “It also marks the first joint scientific effort between Hungary and Japan. Hungary has a rich scientific history, which makes this venture both significant and exciting.”

He added that in the same way X-rays revolutionized medicine and are useful in other areas, muography could revolutionize geological research, archaeology and structural engineering.

“Muography will enhance our understanding of volcanoes and could even be used to weigh the pyramids,” he said.


Source: University of Tokyo.
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