Jan 23, 2014
Justin Vandenbroucke, UW Madison Physics Department
"A trillion times beyond visible: Astronomy with the Cherenkov Telescope Array"
In the past decade, gamma-ray astronomy has entered a golden age. In the GeV energy range, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered surprising new sources and classes of sources, provided strong evidence that Galactic cosmic rays are produced by supernova remnants, and set strong constraints on the nature of dark matter. The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will make similar breakthroughs at energies a thousand times higher. CTA will consist of dozens of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes detecting gamma rays with energy between 30 GeV and 300 TeV. CTA will have a broad science program including elucidating the origins of Galactic and extra-galactic cosmic-rays and the mechanisms of particle accelerators much more powerful than those on Earth, detecting or constraining dark matter particle interactions in situ in the cosmos, and measuring the energy spectrum of cosmic-ray electrons and positrons.