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M. D. Inglis (Suffolk County Community College), H. Takai (Brookhaven National Laboratory), R. Warasia (Suffolk County Community College), J. Sundermier (Deer Park High School)
Extreme Energy Cosmic Rays are nuclei that have been accelerated to kinetic energies in excess of 1020 eV. Where do they come from? How are they produced? Are they survivors of the early universe? Are they remnants of supernovas? MARIACHI, a unique collaboration between scientists, physics teachers and students, is an innovative technique that allows us to detect and study them.
The Experiment MARIACHI is a unique research experiment that seeks the detection of extreme energy cosmic rays (EECRs), with E >1020 eV. It is an exciting project with many aspects:
Research: It investigates an unconventional way of detecting EECRs based upon a method successfully used to detect meteors entering the upper atmosphere. The method was developed by planetary astronomers listening to radio signals reflected off the ionization trail. MARIACHI seeks to listen to TV signals reflected off the ionization trail of an EECR. The unique experiment topology will also permit the study of meteors, exotic forms of lightning, and atmospheric science.
Computing and Technology: It uses radio detection stations, along with mini shower arrays hooked up to GPS clocks. Teachers and students build the arrays. It implements the Internet and the GRID as means of communication, data transfer, data processing, and for hosting a public educational outreach web site.
Outreach and Education: It is an open research project with the active participation of a wide audience of astronomers, physicists, college professors, high school teachers and students. Groups representing high schools, community colleges and universities all collaborate in the project. The excitement of a real experiment motivates the science and technology classroom, and incorporates several high school physical science topics along with material from other disciplines such as astronomy, electronics, radio, optics.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.