The cosmic ray group studies energetic particle radiation in space. The particles of interest to us typically have energies in the range ~0.5 MeV to ~20,000 MeV. There are four sources for these high-energy particles: Galactic cosmic rays, the anomalous component, Solar energetic particles and planetary energetic particles. We study all these sources.
We are an experimental group and our instruments include ground-based neutron monitors and space based instruments on the Ulysses and IMP-8 spacecraft. The space-based instruments detect the energetic particles directly, while the neutron monitors detect secondary baryons produced by particles (mostly Galactic cosmic rays) colliding with nuclei in the atmosphere. We also have an active instrument development program with the goal of producing innovative new instruments for future space flight opportunities.
Professors: Jim Connell, Bruce McKibben and Cliff Lopate