Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New VERITAS telescope array may help find 'dark matter'

02.05.2007
Scientists in the Northern Hemisphere have opened a new window on the universe allowing them to explore and understand the cosmos at a much higher level of precision than was previously available.

Think of it as acquiring a new pair of glasses that allow you to see more clearly. These new "glasses" are VERITAS, (the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System), a major new ground-based gamma-ray observatory, designed to provide an in-depth examination of the universe.

VERITAS is an array of four large optical reflectors that detects high-energy gamma rays by observing the light from secondary showers of particles that these gamma rays generate in the atmosphere. The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory is a collaborator on the program and will provide input to the analysis of the data that the array produces over the next several years.

"It is expected that this instrument will allow for the detection of an increased number of gamma ray sources, possibly even the indirect detection of the mysterious dark matter in the universe," said Karen Byrum, Argonne physicist.

The telescopes are located at a temporary site in the Coronado National Forest in Mt. Hopkins, Ariz., where they will be operated for two years in an engineering mode while a permanent site is acquired. During these two years, a number of key science projects will be undertaken, as well as collaborative observations with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration's next generation gamma-ray space telescope, GLAST, scheduled for launch later this year.

The sensitive instrumentation of VERITAS has an energy threshold for gamma rays of about 100 GeV and can readily identify sources with an intensity of about 1 photon per minute with an observation lasting an hour. This makes it the most sensitive instrument in the northern hemisphere at these energies.

As a collaborator, Argonne participates in the Dark Matter Key Science Project, the Gamma Ray Burst Key Science Project, the Blazar Key Science Project and will assist in research and development for VERITAS upgrades and for the next generation observatory, which is already being planned.

"Through involvement in the VERITAS collaboration, we are examining other ways to look at high energy physics and bringing to the forefront other topics connected to it," explained Hendrik (Harry) J. M. Weerts, director of Argonne's High Energy Physics Division. "The universe with gamma ray bursts, supernovae, and active galactic nuclei, possess nature's most powerful accelerators."

With involvement in the project since its implementation in 1996, David Schramm Postdoctoral Fellow Deirdre Horan serves as Argonne's lead researcher in the collaboration. She hopes to address fundamental physics through the use of this instrumentation, perform more precise observations of black hole systems, and better understand how the universe was formed.

Sylvia Carson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.anl.gov

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold
26.06.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology

nachricht A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
23.06.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>