Galaxy Forum Kansas 2013 - Nick Solomey


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FROM UNDERSTANDING BASIC PARTICLE PHYSICS —to exploring the Universe During the first half of 2013, a number of startling advances in astro-particle physics have been announced. In addition to this--the next ultra large cosmic ray experiment is being developed, regions of the world (including southwest Kansas) tested for their suitability to host such an experiment. In this talk you will get a brief introduction of the ideas of particle physics and how they are being transformed into astro-particle measurements to further understand the Universe and the forces within it.

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Galaxy Forum Kansas 2013 - Nick Solomey

  1. 1. From Understanding BasicFrom Understanding Basic Particle Physics to exploring theParticle Physics to exploring the UniverseUniverse Dr. Nickolas Solomey Professor of Physics Wichita State University Presented at Galaxy Forum of Kansas Cosmosphere July 27, 2013
  2. 2. In the last six months there have been some great discoveries to answer the most perplexing questions of the Universe: ● Dark Matter and Dark Energy ● Galactic and Inter-galactic neutrinos ● Gamma Ray Bursts ● Cosmic Rays
  3. 3. Dark Matter and Dark Energy ● The evidence for the existence of Dark Matter has been around for many years: – Rotation Curves of Galaxies – Einstein Lensing – Universe Accelerating its expansion ● What is the Dark Matter? and Dark Energy?
  4. 4. Meaning of results suggest that the energies of these positrons might have been created when particles of dark matter collided and destroyed each other.
  5. 5. Neutrino Observatory ● Neutrino are an elementary particle that: – almost never interacts with matter – can travel through light years of lead – can penetrate further back in time than light ● First lets explore what are neutrinos and their rule in elementary particle physics. ● Then how neutrinos are used as an observatory.
  6. 6. Neutrino Physics Basic Neutrino production method are nuclear beta decay from: – Radioactive elements decays, such as ● Nuclear Reactors ● Solar fusion reactions ● Geothermal processes in the core of the Earth ● Astronomical sources – High energy particle physics interactions some of which can emulate the method particles where produced in the big bang – Decay in flight of very heavy particles, maybe some that are yet undiscovered
  7. 7. Neutrino Physics Origins of Neutrinos
  8. 8. Map of significances obtained in the IceCube-40 search for neutrino sources (Abbasi et al., 2010a). The heavy black line indicates the Galactic plane. Note that although the statistical variation is similar, the sensitivity and energy range probed vary considerably between the two hemispheres.
  9. 9. Two very large energy neutrino events above 1 TeV have been seen and these raise special questions such as could they come from some very massive super-particle yet to be discovered by modern science, or are they inter-galactic neutrinos?
  10. 10. Skymap in equatorial coordinates of the measured probability of clustering among the 28 events. The most significant cluster consists of five events—all showers and including the second highest energy event in the sample.
  11. 11. Gamma Ray Bursts ● High Energy bursts of photons much larger in energy than light have been seen for many years and have been a mystery. ● New Observations with ground based and NASA satellites have resulted in some new ideas and understanding of these mysterious events. ● An ultra strange event occurred last year and in early 2013 is now understood to be a giant class of new type of star.
  12. 12. Gamma Ray Bursts ● Fermi Gamma Ray Observatory ● Swift ESO Gamma Ray Observatory
  13. 13. Cosmic Rays ● Cosmic Rays are charged particles from outside of the earth and our solar system. ● They have a large extent of energy from a few keV to 1019 eV. ● They still remain a mystery: – Where do they come from – How do they get their large energy ● But they can also be a scientific tool for study: – Astronomy with Cosmic Ray looking for sources – Are higher energy charged particles than man will ever be able to make in the lab, and we can use it to study particle physics.
  14. 14. Cosmic Rays
  15. 15. Future Northern Cosmic Ray experiment needs to be 100 square miles, high altitude plateau and in a remote unpopulated area but have sufficient infrastructure. The Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas panhandle is ideal for this. NMNM
  16. 16. Conclusion ● I hope you found some of this new astro-particle physics exciting. ● You are welcome to come to Lamar and see our test-array, just drive 20 min. south of Lamar, CO on high 287 and the first tank will be in the field on the left just before reaching the big AT&T tower. ● The next large cosmic ray experiment will be even more exciting, but without everyone support it may not occur due to limited research funds.