Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Confessions of a dark matter detective

Sifting through data from HAWC's mountain-top water barrels looking for the fingerprint of dark matter
February 21, 2017
High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory (HAWC)

High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory (HAWC)

Confessions of a dark matter detective

by Andrea Albert

Fourteen thousand feet above sea level near a volcanic peak in Mexico sits a unique astronomical observatory. Instead of peering into space with a glass lens, it uses 300 huge barrels of water. And instead of focusing light, it aims digital sensors inside of each barrel to detect a ghostly blue light called Cherenkov radiation from high-energy particles whizzing through the water. In my work as one of the astrophysicists using the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory, better known as HAWC, I sift through data from those mountain-top water barrels looking for the fingerprint of one of the most elusive yet abundant quarries in the universe: dark matter.

This story appeared in Huffington Post.


Visit Blogger Join Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter See our Flickr Photos Watch Our YouTube Videos Find Us on LinkedIn Find Us on iTunesFind Us on GooglePlayFind Us on Instagram