NPA (Nuclear Particle Astrophysics) Seminar: Segev BenZvi, University of Rochester, “Mapping the Sky in TeV Gamma Rays with HAWC”

Event time: 
Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Wright Lab (), WL 210 Conference Room See map
272 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
(Location is wheelchair accessible)
Event description: 

During the past 10 years, powerful optical telescopes have opened up a new window on the universe: TeV gamma rays, the highest energy photons ever observed. Measurements at these energies are sensitive to not only astrophysical particle accelerators (supernova remnants, pulsars, AGN, and GRBs) but also a wealth of physics beyond the Standard Model. However, nearly all measurements in this energy band have been pointed observations, which have limited sensitivity to spatially extended sources, diffuse gamma-ray emission, and transient or flaring objects. To fill the gap in observations, the High Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory (HAWC) was designed to carry out an unbiased survey of TeV gamma rays from the northern sky. HAWC is a wide-field air shower array operating with >95% uptime in the mountains of central Mexico. In this talk I will describe results from our first year of data taking, which includes observations of new TeV sources in the Galactic Plane, measurements of multi-degree gamma ray halos around nearby pulsars (which has implications for the positron excess observed at Earth), and observations of AGN. I will also describe the prospects for studying physics beyond the Standard Model with HAWC.