Hot air balloon trip to replicate historic flight of physicist Victor Hess

Author: Stephanie Healey

Hot air balloon

Jeremy Wegner, a teacher in the Notre Dame QuarkNet Program from Winamac Community High School will be on a hot air balloon flight to measure cosmic rays on Saturday, March 30.  The balloon ride, organized with the Purdue University QuarkNet Program, will be in the air north of Indianapolis for two hours to record muon flux as a function of altitude.

Saturday’s flight will replicate the historic flight of Victor Hess in 1912.  He was in a balloon 17,000 feet over Northern Bohemia and found evidence that the ionizing radiation that was detected on earth was actually coming from outer space.  Hess earned a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1936 for his discovery.

QuarkNet is a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy that brings together mentors and educators from the Department of Physics with local science teachers for a firsthand experience of current physics research. The relationships aid in developing curriculum and supporting K-12 science teachers.