Astroparticle Physics

Astroparticle physics studies the most powerful objects in the Universe, such as pulsars, gamma ray bursts, supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies a supernovas. Important questions that astroparticle physics helps to answer include the origin of cosmic rays, the acceleration of high-energy particles in astrophysical objects, tests of fundamental physics, the origin of dark matter, neutrino properties, etc. Our faculty, postdocs and students collaborate in several large experiments to detect high-energy gamma rays and neutrinos, with activities ranging from data analysis to instrumentation.

HAWC (Taboada) is very high-uptime (95%), very high field of view (2 sr) gamma ray detector (>300 GeV) in operation in central Mexico.

VERITAS (Otte) is a gamma ray Air Cherenkov Telescope (>100 GeV) in operation is Arizona. VERITAS has reported the discovery of over 40 gamma ray sources both of galactic and extra-galactic origin.

CTA (Otte) is a planned new generatio gamma ray Air Cherenkov Telescope (>30 GeV) that will improve senisitive over VERITAS by an order of magnitude.

IceCube (Taboada) is a high-energy neutrino (> 1 TeV) operating at the geographic South Pole. In 2013, IceCube reported the discovery of a diffuse flux of neutrinos, potentially closing in on the sources of cosmic rays.