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 From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'
23.02.2017 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars
22.02.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

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: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>