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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 2820

  Thursday, November 29th, 2012

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Microwave Detection of Cosmic Ray Air Showers
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Christopher Williams, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, The University of Chicago
Abstract: I will present the design and implementation of the Microwave Detection of Air Showers (MIDAS) experiment, a pathfinder for detection of Extensive Air Showers (EAS) induced by Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs). The MIDAS experiment uses a multi-pixel imaging telescope instrumented with commercially sourced GHz receivers and custom fast-detection electronics to search for EAS. The microwave detection technique is analogous to the already successful fluorescence technique, but with nearly 100% duty cycle. If successful, the microwave technique will provide an attractive method for instrumenting the extremely large areas required by future UHECR observatories. The first science phase of the MIDAS experiment gathered 61 days of livetime data operating on the University of Chicago campus. I will present the current limits on EAS microwave emission from this data set. The second science phase is underway with installation of the MIDAS detector at the Pierre Auger Observatory in MalargA1/4e, Argentina. Operating in coincidence with the Auger surface detector will greatly increase the sensitivity of the MIDAS experiment.
Host: Peter Timbie
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