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The 2017 Seventeenth Annual UMM Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) celebrates student scholarly achievement and creative activities. Students from all disciplines participate in the URS. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances. 

Presentations are accompanied by discussions and multimedia.


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Saturday, April 22 • 10:00am - 12:00pm
Comparison of Observed Cosmic Ray Induced Ionization to a Numerical Model

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When a cosmic ray particle, for example a proton, collides with the atmosphere of the Earth, a cascade of secondary particles distribute throughout the atmosphere, contributing to the electrical conductivity of atmospheric air by way of induced ionization. This cosmic ray induced ionization is used in the prediction of the formation of clouds, providing applications in meteorology. Researchers at the University of Oulu in Finland have developed a numerical model that can predict the level of cosmic ray induced ionization at different atmospheric depths depending of the geomagnetic latitude and strength of the solar magnetic. The goal of our research was to determine the accuracy of the numerical model used by the University of Oulu by way of comparison with experimental data gathered over the past few years through balloon flights of our own. The balloon flights consisted of an apparatus affixed with Geiger counters flown into the atmosphere with hydrogen-filled weather balloons. Data were then harvested from the apparatus and used to determine the level of ionization at different altitudes. These experimental data were then compared to the numerical model developed by the University of Oulu. Through this comparison of the experimental data from the balloon flights to the numerical model, we see that the data fit the model qualitatively, with quantitative variation at higher altitudes, as predicted by the published observations.

Saturday April 22, 2017 10:00am - 12:00pm
Student Center, Oyate Hall 600 E 4th St., Morris MN 56267