Leonard E Parker

Center for Gravitation, Cosmology & Astrophysics

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Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics

UWM joins a NASA-backed search for cosmic rays

Posted by Luis Anchordoqui on March 5, 2013

Scientists from five U.S. institutions, including the Luis Anchordoqui and Tom Paul from the Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, are gearing up for a landmark study of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays – the world’s rarest and most energetic subatomic particles. It is the first time the particles will be recorded from space as they collide with the Earth’s atmosphere.

Cosmic rays carry far more energy than scientists can produce on Earth with a particle accelerator, but how they acquire their extreme energy is a mystery. The goal of the JEM-EUSO project is to understand the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays and hence solve this long-standing mystery.

The UWM group will coordinate development of the ground-based computer software used to analyze data recorded by JEM-EUSO in order ultimately to pin down the sources and properties of the extremely high-energy cosmic rays. Development of analysis techniques will be a collaborative effort involving some 300 collaborators from 13 countries. JEM-EUSO collaborators will share a common software framework, hosted at UWM, in which individual teams can "plug in" their techniques to reduce the data recorded by various JEM-EUSO instruments into science results. This approach fosters friendly competition among analysis groups and reduces unnecessary duplication of software.

Control and data flow for the JEM-EUSO project.

Read more in the UWM press release and at the JEM-EUSO site.

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