University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Wednesday, March 6th 2019
Speaker: Jim Linnemann, Michigan State University
Subject: HAWC: Extreme Astronomy with Big Buckets of Water

Though we can see thousands of stars in a clear night sky, the number of known sources emitting TeV gamma rays is less than 200. This is both because there are few instruments capable of measuring such photons, and because the sources are restricted to particularly violent astrophysical processes which
produce photons of 100 TeV and beyond. The HAWC (High Energy Water Cherenkov) array is the only survey instrument in this energy range. Located on a plateau between two volcanos in Mexico at an altitude of 4100 m, HAWC is able to survey 60% of the sky, and observes 1/6 of the full sky at any moment, day or night. I will discuss the array, its construction and principles of operation, a selection of recent results spanning particle astrophysics to astronomy, and how we are pursuing multi-messenger astronomy to better understand the nature of TeV gamma ray sources.

Faculty Host: Roger Rusack

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