Sunday, August 26, 2007

The MAGIC Telescope

The Magic Telescope - Introduction

Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescopes
IACTs are ground-based telescopes for the detection of very high energy (VHE) electromagnetic particles, in particular gamma rays. Having no electric charge, VHE gammas are not affected by magnetic fields, and can act as messengers of distant cosmic events.

Although high-energy gamma quanta get absorbed in the atmosphere - they can be observed indirectly. The absorption process proceeds by creation of a cascade or shower of high-energy secondary particles.
[+/-] Click here to expand

Most generally, the observation of gamma rays (electromagnetic radiation of high energy) is one aspect of astroparticle physics.

Astroparticle physics is a new field developing as an intersection of Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics, Astrophysics, Gravitation and Cosmology. One of its cornerstones is Cosmic Ray Physics, which has its origins many decades in the past; then scientists observed in balloons and in mountain top laboratories the many charged particles impinging upon the earth.

Today, the field has substantially widened, and includes all particles. In recent years, activities (and funding) have accelerated, with fundamental discoveries being made at an astonishing frequency. Using the understanding of particle interactions at very high energies, as derived from experiments in accelerator laboratories, the picture of how the universe developed since its earliest beginnings, some ten billion years ago, is changing fast.

Theoretical models fuel multiple experiments, using different particles coming to earth from space.

MAGICs observation of gamma ray bursts from Backreaction
Hints of a breakdown of relativity theory? from Sciam blog posting

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