"Hardware Hacking" is a term referring to either the modification, cannibalization or combination of new and/or old technologies to create something different, in order to solve a problem, make more affordable, convey an idea, art, experiment, tinker or just for the fun.
This cosmic ray detector works by detecting muons which are a by-product of cosmic rays hitting our atmosphere. It detects these muons using Geiger Muller tubes - the very same type of detector used in a Geiger counter to measure radiation. However, this detector uses 18 Geiger Muller tubes that are arranged in an XY array of 9 tubes oriented on an X-axis and 9 tubes on a Y-axis.
The aim of this project is to use a narrow beam of X-Rays to produce an image/data that reflects the armament of atomic and molecular structure of atoms in a crystal. The method used is called X-Ray crystallography where a narrow beam of X-rays is fired at a crystal, although most will pass straight through some of the x-rays are diffract by the lattice of atoms arranged in a crystal which sum and subtract to create an interference patterns at an angle to the main beam.