Our scientists and employees actively participate in the international project Cosmic-Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory (CREDO), initiated in 2016 at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) in Krakow by prof. IFJ PAN Dr. hab. Piotr Homola (NZ15).
The Cosmic-Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory uses the hunt for particle cascades from deep space as a vehicle for a unique “bottom-up” approach to scientific research. By engaging the non-specialist public of all ages as “citizen scientists” we create opportunities for lifelong learning for individuals as well as for cooperation and the sharing of common educational tools amongst institutions. The discoveries of these citizen scientists will feed directly into a pioneering new area of scientific research oriented on cosmic ray ensembles. The detection (or non-detection) of such particle groups promises to open up a new method for exploring our universe, and a new channel on the multi-messenger stage, oriented on both astro- and geo-investigations. The opportunities this would create for cross-disciplinary research are significant and beneficial for individuals, networks of institutions and the global communities of both professional scientists and science enthusiasts.
The Cosmic-Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory (CREDO) aims at searching for the yet not checked multi cosmic-ray signatures that are composed of many air showers and individual particles arriving simultaneously to the Earth, so-called cosmic ray ensembles (CRE). The signals from CRE might be spread over very large surfaces which might make them hardly detectable by the existing detector systems operating individually. On the other hand, if these detector systems operate under a global network, as proposed by CREDO, the chances for detection of CRE, will naturally increase. The components of individual CRE might have energies that span practically the whole energy spectrum of cosmic rays. Thus, all the cosmic-ray detectors working in this range, beginning from smartphones and pocket scintillators, through numerous larger educational detectors and arrays to the professional infrastructure capable of registering cosmic rays as a signal or as a background, can contribute to a common effort towards a hunt for CRE.
The IFJ PAN group plays a leading role in the CREDO Collaboration - Dr. Piotr Homola is the originator of the Collaboration and its Project Coordinator since the formal beginning in 2019, and IFJ PAN is the institutional leader, with the largest in-kind (both in the scientific and administrative sense) and financial contributions. We are active on many levels: