SO Colloquio: Moving from high to extreme precision in air shower observations: From LOFAR to SKAO

Cosmic rays play an interesting role in understanding the most violent objects in the universe. These charged atomic particles reach energies orders of magnitudes higher than achievable in accelerators on Earth, which points towards an origin of the most extreme objects in the universe, with strong magnetic shocks and mass transfer. However, these sources are not firmly identified. Astrophysical interpretations are currently limited by the resolution of the images that are made from the particle shower that follows each impact of cosmic rays on the Earth's atmosphere, as well as by the modelling uncertainties in the particle physics occurring in the shower development. Using LOFAR, the currently largest low-frequency telescope, we have made air shower observations with record-breaking accuracy. However, much more is still to be gained with the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO). We hope to be able to make 3-dimensional air shower images with this observatory’s extreme antenna density and thereby bring the field of air shower detection to a new regime of accuracy. This talk will report on on-going efforts within the High Energy Focus Group towards preparing for high-energy particle measurements with the SKAO.

01/12/2022 - 12:30
Dr. Anna Nelles
DESY, Germany