Monday, November 19, 2007

Turkey Day Cometh

I'm leaving for Thanksgiving tomorrow, and things will slow down here a bit. (Because they were going so quickly to begin with, obviously.) So I will leave you with this picture of me posing with my senior thesis project thus far-
Basically, that black tube you can sort of see is a photomultiplier tube (PMT) which is supposed to detect faint Cherenkov light from cosmic rays. The problem with it is Cleveland is not exactly a prime dark-sky location, so we had to design what's called a Winston cone that will only let in light we want above a certain degree (because most light pollution is from the horizon) and will bounce back all the stuff we don't want from lower angles. Pretty nifty!

(Disclaimer: I am nowhere near good enough to make this stuff in the shop, and have the awesome physics shop people to thank for the lathe work and what not. My job is more the "sit on the roof and wonder why it's not working" part of things.)

By the way in case you haven't heard the Auger Observatory is the hottest thing since sliced bread because they came out with results two weeks ago showing that there is a correlation between high-energy cosmic rays and supermassive black holes called Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). This makes us very happy because no one knew where they came from before, and it funds the next leg of the project, Auger North! So here's the press release for the publication that got Auger onto the cover of Science and into every major international newsmedia there is
(like The New York Times and the BBC), and here is the CWRU press release on the subject where I make an ever-so-fleeting appearance.


Ross said...

Was that picture (in the CWRU blog press release) taken when I was in Argentina? I'm not in it. :-( Do you think maybe I can get them to 'shop me in?