New Mexico Center for Particle Physics

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One of four fluorescence detector buildings at the Pierre Southern Observatory.



The MILAGRO experiment at LANL studies gamma-ray and cosmic ray showers at energies near and above 1 TeV.

Astronomical observations have been performed over a wide range of wavelengths, each providing complementary information about our universe. Observations of photons above 1 TeV are made by earth-based instruments that detect the extensive air showers produced when these photons interact with the earth's atmosphere. Possible sources of these high-energy photons include X-ray binaries, active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, gamma-ray bursts, and evaporating primordial black holes. A collaboration that includes members from LANL and a number of universities is building a new-generation air-shower detector, called MILAGRO, in the Jemez mountains west of Los Alamos. MILAGRO will allow the first all-sky, high duty-factor study of astrophysical photons above 100 GeV and several solar physics studies. The first phase of the MILAGRO construction, termed Milagrito, is now complete and is operational. The full MILAGRO is scheduled for completion in 1998. The addition of an air Cherenkov array to MILAGRO is planned and prototype air Cherenkov detectors are scheduled to be added in 1998.

Students have access to the MILAGRO experiment through LANL scientists who are Adjunct Faculty with the New Mexico Center for Particle Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.

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