Gamma-rays are the highest energy form of electromagnetic radiation. Observations of astrophysical gamma-rays serve as probes of physical conditions and processes in the most extreme environments throughout the Universe and can be used to test fundamental physics. The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory, located on the slopes of the Sierra Negra in Mexico, is a ground-based facility designed with unique capabilities to observe very high-energy gamma-rays. This award supports scientists at Pennsylvania State University doing research with HAWC. In addition to supporting HAWC operations, the group will engage in software development and analysis efforts to extend HAWC's capabilities at the highest and lowest energies. They will then utilize those improvements for scientific analyses of the data. The group will engage in education and outreach activities. The group is also developing an online data repository and display where all the HAWC data will be made publicly available.
The group will develop the event reconstruction tools for the new outrigger detectors to extend HAWC's high energy sensitivity. With these improvements they will conduct more sensitive searches for Galactic Pevatrons and constrain Galactic neutrino emission through measurements of the high energy isotropic diffuse emission. The group will also develop tools to recover the lowest energy events to extend HAWC's low energy threshold. This will enhance searches for very high energy emission from gamma ray bursts, the measurement of the spectra of supernova remnants, and searches for electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/18 → 7/31/22|
- National Science Foundation: $810,000.00