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This Week at Physics

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Events on Thursday, January 9th, 2014

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
New Results from VERITAS Long-Term Observations of Hard-Spectrum Blazars
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Arun Madhavan , Iowa State
Abstract: Blazars are a class of extragalactic objects, which produce tightly collimated relativistic jets of plasma oriented along our line of sight. These jets contain high energy particles which, on occasion, give rise to TeV gamma-ray emission. The VERITAS collaboration has conducted long-term observations of several blazar sources with especially hard intrinsic gamma-ray spectra. Gamma-ray observations of distant blazar sources have emerged as an effective probe of the Universe's diffuse Extragalactic Background Light (EBL), thanks largely to characteristic spectral signatures imprinted by electron-positron pair production interactions that occur when TeV gamma-rays encounter soft photons from the EBL. I will present current results from the long-term blazar monitoring program in the context of EBL studies, as well as an overview of novel techniques which I have implemented in the VERITAS analysis chain to improve the instrument's reconstruction of gamma-ray spectra.
Host: Vandenbroucke
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