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!
Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time
17.10.2017 | University of Maryland
Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging
17.10.2017 | American Association for the Advancement of Science
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
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17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
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