[Skip to Content]
30 second exposure using the Full Moon to light the lanscape (from behind the camera), This is a "tile" from a new radio telescope called the Murchison Widefield Array, located in the Shire of Murchison in Mid West Western Australia.

30 second exposure using the Full Moon to light the lanscape (from behind the camera), This is a “tile” from a new radio telescope called the Murchison Widefield Array, located in the Shire of Murchison in Mid West Western Australia.

Cosmic rays are the highest-energy particles in nature. Mostly protons, they reach energies more than a million times higher than that achieved at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Produced by something in the universe, when a cosmic ray hits the top of the atmosphere, it generates a huge ‘extensive air shower’ of secondary particles, some of which reach ground level. This gives off a burst of radio-waves lasting less than a microsecond, allowing radio telescopes operating at the highest time resolution to study these rare particles.

The project will involve simulating the radio emission using a program called ‘CORSIKA’. The goal is to determine what the bursts of radio waves would look like to the Murchison Widefield Array, a radio telescope in Murchison Shire, WA, and how best to detect them. Key issues to explore would be: what is the best frequency to look at? And – how energetic do the cosmic rays have to be in order to generate a detectable radio pulse? The project would form part of design studies for the Square Kilometre Array’s High Energy Cosmic Particles Focus Group.

Pdf Project Description and Timeline

Co-Supervisors

Dr Marcin Sokolowski

Research Fellow

Read More