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This Weeks Colloquium: Andy Smith, Sept. 27, 2012

Andy Smith
University of Utah

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012
102 JFB

Refreshments: 3:30 pm in 219 JFB
Lecture 4:00pm (102 JFB)

Title: TeV Gamma-ray Astrophysics: A Window To The Violent Universe

Abstract:

We are currently in the golden age of high energy gamma-ray astrophysics. While only 8 years ago the number of confirmed sources of TeV radiation in the cosmos numbered less than 5, due to the success of the current generation of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) such as VERITAS, HESS, and MAGIC, the number of catalogued TeV sources now exceeds 150. Due to the energy budget necessary for TeV gamma-ray production, the study of the universe in this regime reveals key information about some of the most exotic and violent objects in the universe such as the cores of AGN, pulsar winds, and supernova remnants. Additionally, gamma-ray astrophysics also stands to make key measurement on the particle physics properties and cosmic distribution of particle dark matter. In this talk I will review the detection technique used by ground based gamma-ray observatories and survey the most important results from the recent generation of IACTs. I will highlight the contributions of UU Physics and Astronomy in the recent progress of this field as well as illustrating our departments outlook for contributing to VERITAS, HAWC, and the next generation Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). CTA is expected to come on-line by the end of the decade and to significantly extend and expand the field of TeV astronomy by utilizing an array of over 50 telescopes.

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