Cal Poly Pomona

Physics Seminar

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Exploring the Extreme Universe with Very High Energy (VHE) Gamma Rays

Amanda Weinstein

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

Last modified on October 26, 2009
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