University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
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Cecil J. Waddington

Professor (Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics)

SHEPLAB 149 (office), 624-2566
wadd @

Summary of Interests
Cosmic Ray physics

About My Work

Current Research

I am a member of the SUPER TIGER collaboration. This is a collaboration between groups from Washington University, St. Louis, the PI institute; Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA; Caltech; JPL and University of Minnesota.

The original TIGER program was designed with the objective of studying the heavy nuclei in the cosmic radiation with particular emphasis on the relative rare nuclei heavier than iron, which cannot have been synthesized in normal main sequence stars. The Tiger detector was flown on high altitude balloons from Antarctica and proved that such nuclei could be detected with sufficient charge resolution to identify individual elements.

NASA then awarded the collaboration a five year grant to design, build and expose as large a detector that could be exposed on a high altitude balloon flight and would maximize the numbers of these very heavy nuclei and identify the atomic abundances. This was the Super Tiger instrument, with six to seven times the collection power of the original tiger instrument and with improved charge and energy resolution.

Super Tiger was launched from McMurdo on Dec 8 2012 and floated between 120 and 130 thousand feet for 55 days, setting new duration records. The flight was terminated too late in the season to allow for the recovery of the instrument. This flight set a new endurance record and NASA gave us a Group Achievement Award for “development of the Super TIGER instrument and its exceptionally successful 55 day Antarctic balloon flight”

The instrument returned data on some 50 million nuclei with Z > 10 as well as several hundred with Z >30.

Description of the instrument and the preliminary results were reported in five paper accepted for the proceedings of the 33 International Cosmic Ray Conference, being held in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013.

The instrument was recovered in Dec 2014 and returned to the USA where it is currently being evaluated and serviced for a reflight in 2017. The results from an initial analysis of the date are being reported to the 2015 ICR in one invited paper and three contributed papers.


Ph.D., Bristol University, 1955
B.Sc. (Honours, First Class), Bristol University, 1952.
British Army, -1949
Perse School, Cambridge, -1947
Summerhill School, -1942.