Latest Astroparticle physics Stories

2008-07-07 06:00:00

By Mark Vierthaler, Journal-World, Lawrence, Kan. Jul. 7--Members of Kansas University's physics department now have a new tool to help them determine what effect cosmic rays may have on mass extinction. While working with a group of other researchers, Alexander Krejci, Lawrence senior, developed a set of calculations that would allow researchers to study the effect a large number of rays could have on the Earth's atmosphere. Adrian Mellott, professor of astrobiophysics and cosmology,...

2008-05-29 13:15:55

When NASA launches its newest space observatory, physicists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will be watching as the product of nearly 16 years of hard work blasts into orbit. The UCSC team led an international effort to design a massive detector system for the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral on June 3. GLAST will explore the universe's most extreme environments, searching for answers to long-standing questions about dark...

2008-02-28 09:07:05

A half-mile down in an old iron ore mine in Minnesota, incredibly sensitive detectors have been waiting for a particle of dark matter, an invisible substance that may form the skeleton of galaxies, to make itself known. A consortium of research scientists, including Stanford physicist Blas Cabrera, anticipated the detection of a predicted-but-undiscovered dark particle known as a weakly interacting massive particle, or WIMP. The hope was that several WIMPs would travel through space and a...

2008-02-25 13:30:00

U.S. experiment retakes the lead in competitive race Scientists of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment today announced that they have regained the lead in the worldwide race to find the particles that make up dark matter. The CDMS experiment, conducted a half-mile underground in a mine in Soudan, Minn., again sets the world's best constraints on the properties of dark matter candidates. "With our new result we are leapfrogging the competition," said Blas Cabrera of Stanford...

2008-02-14 13:39:07

Physicists revive bubble chamber technology to search for WIMPs Scientists working on the COUPP experiment at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory today (February 14) announced a new development in the quest to observe dark matter. The Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics experiment tightened constraints on the "spin-dependent" properties of WIMPS, weakly interacting massive particles that are candidates for dark matter. Their results, combined...

2008-02-11 10:36:42

The two biggest mysteries in cosmology may be one. A new theory says that dark matter and dark energy could arise from a single dark fluid that permeates the whole universe. And this could mean Earth-based dark matter searches will come up empty. Dark matter, as originally hypothesized, is extra hidden mass that astrophysicists calculate is necessary for holding together fast-turning galaxies. The most popular notion is that this matter is made of some yet-to-be-identified particle that has...

2008-01-02 10:03:16

The mysterious origins of cosmic rays that slam into the Earth's atmosphere could soon be revealed, thanks to a better ground-based sensor that costs less than balloons or satellites. Cosmic rays are thought to come from either the center of the galaxy or a nearby supernova, and knowing which is true will help astrophysicists paint a more accurate picture of the cosmos. "Cosmic rays are not a spectator phenomenon in the galaxy — they have a role in galactic dynamics," said...

2007-12-20 16:14:54

By working in synergy with a ground-based telescope array, the joint Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)/NASA Suzaku X-ray observatory is shedding new light on some of the most energetic objects in our galaxy, but objects that remain shrouded in mystery. These cosmic powerhouses pour out vast amounts of energy, and they accelerate particles to almost the speed of light. But very little is known about these sources because they were discovered only recently. "Understanding these...

2007-12-17 12:05:00

With its powerful detectors, Integral has performed the most-sensitive all-sky survey ever, finding expected clumpy areas at large scales in our local universe. Scientists working with ground-based telescopes have found the same local clumps, while looking for sources of cosmic showers. Integral performed the survey in the hard X-ray band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although it wasn't the first such survey, Integral's strength lies in the fact that it is unbiased towards sources that are...

2007-11-29 17:57:28

GREENBELT, Md. - NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) has arrived at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington for its final round of testing. The GLAST spacecraft has successfully completed two of its three environmental tests at the prime contractor, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Gilbert, Ariz. These tests included exposure to extreme vibrations and electromagnetic fields. "We've completed two of the big three tests, and now we're going to the NRL...

Latest Astroparticle physics Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

WIMP -- In astronomy, WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, figure into one explanation of the dark matter problem. The particles are called "weakly interacting" because they seem not to have much interaction with normal matter (electrons, protons, and neutrons) other than gravitational attraction (thus "massive"). Assuming that there are Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, these particles would then fall out of equilibrium with the universe when they are non-relativistic....

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Massive Compact Halo Object (MACHO) -- Massive compact halo objects, or MACHOs, are a type of astronomical body proposed as one possible explanation for the presence of dark matter in galactic halos. A MACHO is a small chunk of normal baryonic matter, far smaller than a star, which drifts through interstellar space unassociated with any solar system. Since MACHOs would not emit any light of their own, they would be very hard to detect. Recent work has suggested that MACHOs are not...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Cosmic Rays -- Cosmic Rays. Cosmic rays are energetic particles that are found in space and filter through our atmosphere. Cosmic rays have interested scientists for many different reasons. They come from all directions in space, and the origination of many of these cosmic rays is unknown. Cosmic rays were originally discovered because of the ionozation they produce in our atmosphere. Cosmic rays also have an extreme energy range of incident particles, which have allowed physicists to...

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Word of the Day
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.