Detectors BEAM

  • Published 1999

Abstract

THE EARTH IS CONTINUOUSLY BOMBARDED by cosmic rays whose energy spectrum extends from a few GeV to 1011 GeV. After almost eighty years, since the discovery of cosmic radiation by Hess in 1912, the origin of cosmic rays is still not well understood. Understanding the nonthermal processes and the environments that generate these high-energy particles is a fundamental problem in astrophysics. Gamma rays produced by the energetic collisions of particle beams in these sources can be rare messengers that provide important clues to understanding these energetic electromagnetic and nuclear processes. In this view, the sources of gamma rays of energies above about 100 GeV must be beams of charged particles that have been accelerated to still higher energies. Some of the possible sources for energetic gamma ray production include jets emerging from active galactic nuclei, the catastrophic collisions that seem to be responsible for gamma ray bursts, special radio galaxies, and the environments of rapidly spinning neutron stars or supernova remnants. Even more exotic sources for these energetic gamma rays have been proposed, such as the annihilation of weakly interacting massive particles producing monochromatic gamma rays, and also the decay of cosmic strings left over from the Big Bang. Very high-energy (VHE) gamma ray astronomy is the observational science of measuring their flux, point of origin, energy spectra and temporal variations. These measurements provide the test bed for theoretical models of the astrophysical sources generating high energy particle beams, the nature of the medium in which they generate the gamma rays, and the Very High-Energy Gamma Ray

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{1999DetectorsB, title={Detectors BEAM}, author={}, year={1999} }