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HEP Seminar: Exploring the high-energy universe with the VERITAS gamma-ray observatory

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Marcos Santander, Columbia University
When
21 September 2016 from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Where
339 Davey Laboratory
Contact Name
Miguel Mostafa
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The continuing study of the gamma-ray sky has revealed a large population of extreme astrophysical accelerators capable of emitting electromagnetic radiation up to the highest observable energies, in the TeV range. Above 100 GeV, gamma-ray observations can be performed from the ground using large optical telescopes sensitive to the Cherenkov radiation emitted by gamma-ray air showers. The VERITAS observatory, an array of four Cherenkov telescopes located in Southern Arizona, uses this technique to study Galactic and extragalactic sources, probe cosmological radiation fields, and search for evidence of dark matter, among other science projects. In this talk, I will summarize recent results from the VERITAS observatory, discuss how gamma-ray observations can help find the sources of cosmic rays, and describe synergies with other observatories currently in operation. The future Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will provide an order-of-magnitude improvement in sensitivity over current instruments such as VERITAS. I will update on the construction of the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope, a proposed telescope for CTA with a novel optical design and advanced photon sensors that will improve the sensitivity of the array in its core energy band.

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