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Highest Energy Cosmic Rays Linked to Violent Black Holes

  1. Nov 8, 2007 #1

    ZapperZ

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    In case people hasn't seen the big news of the day (or technically, the big news of tomorrow when the issue of Science officially comes out), the Pierre Auger observatory collaboration has finally come out with its first major result.

    I am not in this field of study, but I am involve with it via the AirFly collaboration. We provide to Auger, among other things, the energy calibration of the fluorescent signal that they are detecting from electrons moving through air/N2 at different pressures.

    I'm glad the news embargo on this is now over, so I can tell people now! :)

    Zz.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2007 #2
    Thanks Z.

    If only Dr. Chou had finished his presentation a few minutes earlier, I might have scooped you on this. Oh well. My summary of Dr. Chou's presentation will be posted, I hope, later today.

    S
     
  4. Nov 8, 2007 #3

    ZapperZ

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    He gave a seminar at Argonne last week. I could have scooped everyone back then. But he announced that there was an embargo till the Science publication. So I respected that. Besides, I already had a clue on what the result was through a few of our collaborators.

    BTW, did he still mention about needing the absolute energy calibration from AirFly? That paper is being written as we speak.

    Zz.
     
  5. Nov 8, 2007 #4

    ZapperZ

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    Just for reference, this was the paper we recently published that Auger used in one of their calibration.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...serid=10&md5=b0dd8e7f91f52c6b6547a0f44b279c51

    This does not have the absolute energy calibration yet. That one is still being worked on, and there's talk that AirFly will be flying back to our facility to expand their studies, including doing the fine details on their measurements.

    Zz.
     
  6. Nov 8, 2007 #5

    Chris Hillman

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    Fun stuff

    Exciting news indeed, although--- now that it has happened--- not unexpected!
     
  7. Nov 8, 2007 #6

    ZapperZ

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    BTW, and this is where I can't help myself to take a swipe at those people who are so afraid of places like RHIC and LHC creating "black holes" in their collisions, if you notice the energy scale of the cosmic particles that they're talking about here, they are in the hundreds of TeV, significantly higher than what LHC would get on its best days. This clearly implies that there are particle with energy in the hundreds of TeV undergoing collisions a gazillion times a second all over the neighborhood of our Earth. If such energetic collisions can have an appreciable probability of creating a black hole that can harm our world, we would have been gone already by now.

    Considering that both RHIC and LHC are nowhere near such energy scale, and their collision luminosity is awfully puny when compare to the rate happening all over our immediate neighborhood, one can immediately see why such black hole scenario is utterly irrelevant.

    Zz.
     
  8. Nov 9, 2007 #7

    cristo

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    I attended a seminar by Prof Subir Sarkar from Oxford last week entitled "Seeing the High Energy Universe Through Cosmic Rays." At the end he said to look out in this weeks Science for their discoveries, as he couldn't tell us then. Anyway, it's interesting news!
     
  9. Nov 9, 2007 #8


    Perhaps one can invent a theory that will lead to the formation of black holes only if the collision takes place in the immediate vicinity of massive bodies, e.g. by invoking Chameleon Fields in some way. :smile:
     
  10. Nov 9, 2007 #9

    ZapperZ

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    Then one has to explain why there are no black holes next to the sun, Jupiter, Neptune, etc.. etc.

    Zz.
     
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