Abstract

Cosmic muons are highly energetic and penetrative particles and these figures are used for imaging of large and dense objects such as spent nuclear fuels in casks and special nuclear materials in cargo. Cosmic muon intensity depends on the incident angle (zenith angle, φ), and it is known that I(φ) = I0 cos2 φ at sea level. Low intensity of cosmic muon requires long measurement time to acquire statistically meaningful counts. Therefore, high-energy particle simulations e.g., GEANT4, are often used to guide measurement studies. However, the measurable cosmic muon count rate changes upon detector geometry and configuration. Here we develop an “effective solid angle” model to estimate experimental results more accurately than the simple cosine-squared model. We show that the cosine-squared model has large error at high zenith angles (φ ≥ 60°), whereas our model provides improved estimations at all zenith angles. We anticipate our model will enhance the ability to estimate actual measurable cosmic muon count rates in muon imaging applications by reducing the gap between simulation and measurement results. This will increase the value of modeling results and improve the quality of experiments and applications in muon detection and imaging.

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