Why is it in the news?
- The GRAPES-3 experiment, short for Gamma Ray Astronomy PeV EnergieS phase-3, is a scientific endeavour aimed at studying cosmic rays.
- It is a collaborative effort between the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India, and the Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan.
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- It utilizes a sophisticated setup comprising an array of air shower detectors and a large area muon detector.
- These detectors are strategically positioned to capture and analyse the behaviour of cosmic rays as they interact with the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Situated in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, the GRAPES-3 experiment benefits from the geographical advantages of its location. The unique atmospheric conditions in Ooty provide an ideal environment for studying cosmic rays and their interactions.
- The primary objective of the GRAPES-3 experiment is to investigate various aspects of cosmic rays, including their origin, acceleration, and propagation.
- By studying the behaviour of cosmic rays, researchers aim to unravel the mysteries surrounding these highly energetic particles and their impact on the universe.
- The identification of this new feature holds promise for enhancing our understanding of cosmic ray phenomena and their implications for astrophysics and cosmology.
|About Cosmic Rays
· Cosmic rays were first discovered more than a century ago through the pioneering work of scientists like Victor Hess.
· Their existence has since been confirmed through numerous experiments and observations.
· Cosmic rays are known to be the most energetic particles in the universe, with some reaching energies far beyond those achievable in particle accelerators on Earth.
· Earth is constantly bombarded by cosmic rays originating from outer space. These cosmic rays penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere and interact with its constituents, leading to the production of secondary particles.
· The interaction of cosmic rays with the atmosphere results in a cascade of secondary particles known as an air shower. This shower includes electrons, photons, muons, protons, neutrons, and other subatomic particles.
· Cosmic rays exhibit a wide range of energies, spanning from 10^8 to 10^20 electron volts (eV). This broad energy spectrum poses intriguing challenges and opportunities for researchers studying cosmic ray physics.