"Illuminating the Cosmic Frontier with Gamma Rays"

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Date/Time:Monday, 04 Mar 2013 from 4:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:Physics 0005
Phone:515-294-5441
Channel:Colloquium
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Amanda Weinstein (Iowa State University)

The universe is filled with powerful astrophysical accelerators that achieve far greater energies than anything attainable on earth. The products of these accelerators (cosmic rays, gamma rays, and neutrinos) can be used to probe questions in particle physics, cosmology, and astrophysics, from the nature of dark matter and fundamental symmetries to the long-standing mystery of cosmic-ray origin. Ground-based gamma-ray telescopes and gamma-ray satellites currently allow us to study astrophysical accelerators over many decades of energy. I will explore the implications for the search for cosmic ray accelerators of recent results from the atmospheric Cherenkov telescope array VERITAS (100 GeV - 100 TeV) and the Fermi gamma-ray satellite (20 MeV to 300 GeV) and discuss how this work intertwines with searches for astrophysical dark matter. I will also discuss plans for a next-generation gamma-ray observatory, the Cherenkov Telescope Array.