The Oh My God Particle


The Oh-My-God particle was an ultra-high-energy cosmic ray detected on the evening of 15 October 1991 over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, by the University of Utah‘s Fly’s Eye Cosmic Ray Detector.


Its observation was a shock to astrophysicists (hence the name), who estimated its energy to be approximately 3×1020 eV or 3×108 TeV. This is 20,000,000 times more energetic than the highest energy measured in electromagnetic radiation emitted by an extragalactic object[3] and 1020 (100 quintillion) times the photon energy of visible light. The particle had a kinetic energy of 48 joules, equivalent to a 142 g (5 oz) baseball travelling at about 26 m/s (94 km/h; 58 mph).


.Well that is…… Let’s see……ten to the twentieth power times three. Ah… 100 quintillion..!!

.The energy of this particle is some 40,000,000 times that of the highest energy protons that have been produced in any terrestrial particle accelerator.

Want more math… LOL. Here we go. For the Oh-My-God particle, this gives 7.5×1014 eV, roughly 60 times the collision energy of the Large Hadron Collider.

.For decades, physicists have sought the sources of the most energetic subatomic particles in the universe—cosmic rays that strike the atmosphere with as much energy as well-thrown baseballs. Now, a team working with the Telescope Array, a collection of 507 particle detectors covering 700 square kilometers of desert in Utah, has observed a broad “hotspot” in the sky in which such cosmic rays seem to originate. Although not definitive, the observation suggests the cosmic rays emanate from a distinct source near our galaxy and not from sources spread all over the universe.

.What did they find? “A Hot Spot”. If you want some serious reading, check out this link for more information.

And now…. They are going to make it bigger….

.Japan will spend $3.7 million to nearly quadruple the size of the Telescope Array (TA), which currently consists of 507 particle detectors spread across 700 square kilometers of Utah desert. The detectors sense the avalanche of particles, or what physicists call an “extensive air shower,” triggered when a ray hits the atmosphere. Physicists will deploy 400 more loosely spaced detectors to stretch TA’s area to about 2500 square kilometers—twice the area of New York City—says Yoshiki Tsunesada, a physicist and TA team member at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. From the size and direction of an air shower, physicists can deduce the energy and direction of the original ray. Researchers hope to complete the expansion in 2017. Japan paid two-thirds of the current array’s $25 million cost.


References :

^“Physicists spot potential source of ‘Oh-My-God’ particles”.

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