The Pierre Auger Observatory: Exploring Secrets of the Extreme Universe
How do you catch a glimpse of some of the fastest, rarest particles slamming through the universe? Build a really, really big window.
Scientists at the Pierre Auger (pronounced oh-ZHAY) Cosmic Ray Observatory are doing just that on the high plains of Argentina. Their goal is to unmask the mysteries of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.
Michigan Tech's David Nitz, a professor of physics, is among the 300-plus scientists from fifteen countries participating in the project, which is managed by the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. At Tech, he is joined in the effort by Associate Professor Brian Fick and postdoctoral research associate Johana Chirinos Diaz, along with a team of graduate students. Michigan Tech's participation in the project is funded by the US Department of Energy.
Nitz is site spokesperson for the northern hemisphere observatory, a twin of the Auger facility to be built in Colorado. He initially led design of the Auger microwave communication system, which was ultimately finalized and implemented in Argentina by scientists from the University of Leeds.