Thursday, November 19, 2009
Exploring the Extreme Universe with Very High Energy (VHE) Gamma Rays
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA
Viewed at very high energies, the universe is a place of powerful astrophysical engines driving accelerators that reach far greater energies than anything built on earth. By studying the products of these accelerators (such as cosmic rays and gamma-rays), we can not only learn a great deal about the astrophysics of these sources, but probe a variety of questions in particle physics and cosmology. A new generation of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs),designed to detect VHE (100 GeV-10 TeV) gamma-rays, has radically altered our picture of the very high-energy gamma-ray sky. One such instrument is the recently-commissioned IACT array VERITAS. I will give a broad overview of the VERITAS program and discuss a selection of results from VERITAS's successful first two years of operation. As the recently launched Fermi satellite has similarly revolutionized gamma-ray astronomy in the 20 MeV to 300 GeV energy range, I will also discuss the growing synergy between VERITAS and Fermi science and the rich prospects for collaborative multiwavelength studies over the next several years, and briefly discuss longer-term prospects for the field.
Refreshments at 11:00 AM. Seminar begins at 11:10 AM.
Building 8, Room 241
For further information, please call (909) 869-4014