Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Ray Research with the Pierre Auger Observatory: Operation, Data Analysis and Interpretation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


The Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina is a 3000 square kilometre detector array in Argentina that was designed and constructed to record showers of secondary particles, induced by ultra-high energy (UHE) cosmic rays in the atmosphere. The rate of these cosmic rays is as low as 1 particle per square kilometre and century, and, 40 years after their discovery, it is still unknown what their origin is, how they gain their huge energies and what they actually are. The Pierre Auger Observatory will measure UHE cosmic rays with unprecedented precision and statistics to answer exactly those questions. The size of the experiment was chosen to catch about 30 UHE particle per year, and two complementary techniques are used for good precision and particle identification. The Leeds and Oxford groups bring a broad range of experience to the Collaboration which comprises about 250 physicists from 17 countries.


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