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Searching for the Universe’s Most Energetic Particles, Astronomers Turn on the Radio

Searching for the Universe’s Most Energetic Particles, Astronomers Turn on the Radio

Ever since their discovery in the 1960s, ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays have captivated scientists, who wonder where they come from. Like all cosmic rays, they are arguably misnamed: they are not “rays” of radiation but rather subatomic particles, such as protons or even entire nuclei, zipping through space. Such ultrahigh energies come from ultrahigh speeds, approaching that of light itself.To be considered “ultrahigh,” a cosmic ray must carry on the order of a quintillion electron volts, or 1,000 peta-electron volts (PeV), of kinetic energy—about one hundredth of what would be required to...

scientificamerican.com
Katrina Miller
Apr 27
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