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Solving the Mystery of the Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays The Pierre Auger Observatory. Southern Site: Malargue, Argentina Northern Site: Southeast Colorado, USA. Pablo Bauleo Physics Department Colorado State University Fort Collins CO 80523. http://www.auger.org.ar.

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Solving the Mystery of the

Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays

The Pierre Auger Observatory

Southern Site: Malargue, Argentina Northern Site: Southeast Colorado, USA

  • Pablo Bauleo

  • Physics Department

  • Colorado State University

  • Fort Collins CO 80523

http://www.auger.org.ar


Historical high points
Historical high points

1912

Victor Hess

discovers

“penetrating radiation”

from space

1938

Pierre Auger discovers

Extensive air showers

Auger varied distance and lead covering

D

Pb

Fast electronic counters


1962: Penzias-Wilson: Cosmic Microwave Background

p + CMB  p + 0  n + +

  • For energy > 5 * 1019

Greisen, Zatsepin-Kuzmin (GZK) Cut Off

Particles > 5 * 1019 eV

must be < ~ few*50 Mpc away


Today a lot is known about the cosmic ray flux…

Highest energy event:

3.2 x 1020 eV

Fly’s Eye in Utah in 1991

Flux (m2 sr s eV)-1

The Auger project is focused on the highest energies.

Energy (eV)


At the high end of the spectrum the energies are macroscopic

Highest energy events are around 2*1020 eV  30 Joules

This energy is concentrated in, say, one proton. It corresponds to kinetic energy of…

…a tennis ball at 40 miles per hour

…dropping my laptop computer from shoulder height

…a person walking slowly, deep in thought.

Flux @ 1020 eV  1 CR/(km2 sr century)


Cosmic mysteries where do ultra high energy cosmic rays come from

Cosmic MysteriesWhere do Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays Come From?

No convincing acceleration process

for explaining particle energy > 1020 eV

A handful of super-GZK events have been reported.

Sources of particles > 1020 eV must be closer than about 50 Mpc because of CMB

No likely acceleration sites have been found nearby.

The highest energy cosmic rays should point back to possible sources

Point sources or uniform on the sky?


The primary cosmic ray initiates a shower.There are two basic detection techniques:

Height ~20 km.a.s.l

Up to order 1011 particles

(2) Nitrogen fluorescence

10% duty factor – dark nights

(1) Particles reach ground

Height ~ 1500 m.a.s.l


Extracting information from an EAS

  • Tank timing

    • Arrival direction

  • Number of particles in tanks

    • Total Energy

  • Telescope image (digital camera like)

    • Arrival direction

  • Light detected

    • Total Energy

  • Redundant measurement for cross-checks

Animation of an event

measured in Argentina


The Auger Collaboration

  • 18 Participating Countries - 50 Institutions, >280 Scientists

  • Argentina Mexico

  • Australia Netherlands

  • Bolivia* Poland

  • Brazil Slovenia

  • Czech Republic Spain

  • France South Korea

  • Germany United Kingdom

  • Greece USA

  • Italy Vietnam*

  • Participating US institutions:

  • UCLA Michigan Tech

  • Case Western Minnesota

  • Chicago Nebraska

  • Colorado New Mexico

  • Colorado State Northeastern

  • Fermilab (and ANL) Penn State

  • Louisiana State Utah


Auger north is planned in Colorado

Auger south is here.

Malargue is a small town on the high plains not far from a ski area in the Andes.


View of los leones fluorescence site
View of Los LeonesFluorescence Site



Schmidt Telescope

using 11 m2 mirrors

UV optical filter

(also: provide protection

from outside dust)

Schmidt corrector ring

 2.2 m

opt. Filter

(MUG-6)

Camera with 440 PMTs

(Photonis XP 3062)


Atmospheric monitoring

LIDAR at each eye

•cloud monitors at each eye

• central laser facility

• regular balloon flights

Atmospheric Monitoring

steerable LIDAR facilities

located at each FD eye

Central laser facility (fiber linked to tank)

LIDAR at each FD building

  • light attenuation length

  • Aerosol concentration

Balloon probes  (T,p)-profiles


Aligned water tanks as seen from los leones
Aligned Water Tanksas seen from Los Leones


Water tank in the pampa
Water Tank in the Pampa

Communication

antenna

GPS antenna

Electronics enclosure

40 MHz FADC,

local triggers, 10 Watts

Solar Panel

Plastic tank with

12 tons of water

Battery

box

three 9”

PMTs


Installation chain

installation of electronics

receiving ~20 tanks/week

Water deployment

Transportation into field

Tank Preparation and Assembly

Installation Chain


Central campus with visitors center

Assembly building, yard


Loma Amarilla

(in preparation)

Los Leones

(fully operational)

Coihueco

(fully operational)

Los Morados

(fully operational)




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