Pierre Auger Observatory

Hybrid Detector

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The hybrid nature of the Pierre Auger Observatory provides for two independent ways to see cosmic rays. Read More...

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Who Was Pierre Auger?

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The Pierre Auger Observatory experiment was named after Pierre Victor Auger (1899 - 1993) Read More...

First SSD stations deployed in the field

2016-09-15 SSD-Deployment

On Sep. 15, six Surface Scintillator Detector (SSD) stations were deployed with a single trip to the engineering array site. Five more stations are planned to be deployed next week. The photograph shows the first detector set up in the field, which is part of the triplet at the so-called station Generalife.

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Memories of James W. Cronin

2016-09-15 Cronin

On the occasion of the celebration of Jim Cronin’s life on September 30, 2016 came up the idea to gather individual recollections and stories [http://astro.uchicago.edu/Cronin/memories.php] about Jim and the Auger Observatory over the years.

Below are some recollections from Paul Mantsch (Scientist Emeritus at Fermilab), former spokesperon of the US Auger Collaboration and close friend to Jim.

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James W. Cronin – Founding Father of the Pierre Auger Observatory, 1931-2016

 

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James W. Cronin (University of Chicago)

  

The Pierre Auger Collaboration sadly shares the news that James W. Cronin, Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago and spokesperson emeritus of Auger died on 25 August, at the age of 84.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on 29 September 1931, graduated with a PhD in physics in 1955, James Cronin shared the 1980 Nobel Prize for Physics with Val Fitch for their 1964 discovery that decaying subatomic particles called K mesons violate a fundamental principle in physics known as "CP symmetry."

After his prizewinning work, he eventually turned his research to cosmic rays and he was a founding father of the Pierre Auger Observatory, the world's largest cosmic-ray detector, which he conceptualized in 1992 with fellow physicist from the University of Leeds Alan Watson.

In his Nobel biographical statement, he emphasized the importance of his family to his career. “On even the worst days, when nothing was working at the lab, I knew that at home I would find warmth, peace, companionship, and encouragement. As a consequence, the next day would surely be better.”

Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to his family, his wife, children and grandchildren.

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Humberto Salazar Ibarguen receives "Luis Rivera Terrazas" medal in Puebla

Humberto Salazar Ibarguen, researcher at the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) in Mexico, received the medal of Science and Technology "Luis Rivera Terrazas" in recognition of his contributions in the field of Natural Sciences.

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AugerPrime featured in the June 2016 issue of the CERN Courier

The planned upgrade of the Pierre Auger Observatory, AugerPrime, is featured as the cover story in the June 2016 issue of the CERN Courier,  an international journal of high-energy physics whose readership spans the globe. The article, titled “AugerPrime looks to the highest energies”, explains the scientific motivation for the detector upgrades and presents some of the improvements foreseen to enhance the experiment’s performance. AugerPrime is expected to be completed in 2018 with little interruption to current data-taking operations.

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The energy in the radio signal of extensive air showers - a universal estimator for the cosmic-ray energy

One of the biggest challenges in cosmic-ray physics is to accurately pin down the absolute energy of a measured cosmic ray. This is traditionally done with an array of particle detectors deployed on a large grid, which then sample the energetic "air-shower" particles made in atmospheric interactions of the original cosmic particle. This is a tough challenge for particle detectors because the complex interaction physics at the highest energies has to be extrapolated from measurements at collider experiments, which operate at significantly lower energies - even at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). To accurately set the absolute energy scale, scientists using the Pierre Auger Observatory thus rely on combining the particle detectors (for Auger, water tanks used to measure the Cherenkov light flash made in the water by relativistic charged particles) with the nitrogen fluorescence detection technique. This works very well, but requires tremendous effort, in particular to control the effects of scattering and absorption in the ever-changing atmosphere. Now, we have shown that radio detection of extensive air showers can be a very powerful means to cross-calibrate the absolute energy scale of different experiments.

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Auger On Site

Shower Simulations

shower simulation

A computer is used to construct a model of what happens in a high energy cosmic ray airshower. Read More...

Google Earth

GoogleEarth

A model of the Observatory layout was constructed, to be viewed interactively using Google Earth. Read More...

Event Display

Event

The Pierre Auger Collaboration agreed on making 1% of its data available to the public. Read More...