Astroparticle Physics is an exciting new field at the interface between Physics and Astronomy. The field is concerned with exploring beyond the limits of our understanding of particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology.
Some of the questions that we are trying to solve include:
  • Is there a limit to the energies of cosmic particles?
  • How do supermassive black holes power intense beams of gamma rays and neutrinos?
  • What is the nature of dark matter in the Universe?
  • What are gamma-ray bursts and how do they work?
UCLA scientists are involved in a number of forefront projects that are trying to find answers to these questions. Take a virtual tour of our program! Please contact us if you have any questions.

NEW (Jan 5, 2004): VLADIMIR VASSILIEV has joined the UCLA faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His research will largely focused on the VERITAS project.

Overview of Projects at UCLA 

Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov
ffect Experiment
Aerial view of the solar mirror array at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (near Albuquerque NM, USA). The STACEE experiment uses the array at night to do gamma- ray astronomy at energies between 50 and 500 GeV. Each mirror is huge (6.1 meters x 6.1 meters) --STACEE uses 64 of them.

Visit the
Projected view of the VERITAS array (under construction). VERITAS will consist of seven 12m diameter telescopes built on a mountain site in Southern Arizona. The telescopes use the atmospheric Cherenkov technique to detect gamma-rays at energies between 50 GeV and 50,000 GeV. VERITAS will be able to detect much fainter and much more distant sources than any existing gamma- ray telescope.

Goldstone is a novel telescope that is looking for sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos above 1016 eV.  The experiment uses the large radio antennas of NASA Deep Space Network to detect coherent radio waves produced when a neutrino interacts in the Moon. Pictured is one of the large NASA antennas near Goldstone CA, USA.
 Visit the
Goldstone web site

The Auger Project studies the highest energy particles in the cosmos-- particles with energies above 1020 eV, the same energy in a well-hit base ball! The project is a collaboration of scientists from around the world. The UCLA group is playing an important part in the construction of the first Auger observatory in Argentina. Shown here are some of the U.S. scientists at Fermilab next to one of the first Auger detectors.

Visit the
Auger Project
web site


The ZEPLIN project aims to detect dark matter using a technique which uses liquid Xenon (Xe). The project makes use of two-phase Xe detector to record the recoil interactions of Weak Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs). On the right is shown a conceptual drawing for the ZEPLIN II detector to be located in the Boulby Mine, near Sheffield, England. This detector is being constructed by a collaboration of institutions of which UCLA is a leading member.
Visit the
UCLA Dark Matter
web site

ANtarctic Impulse Transient Array
ANITA is a balloon-borne experiment that will fly over Antarctica in the first project to study cosmic neutrinos. Cosmic neutrinos are generated in the collisions between cosmic rays and the universe's microwave photon background at incredible energies that could never be reached on Earth. They therefore provide an exciting window into very high energy physical phenomena like the generation of micro-black holes and other exotic occurances that could demonstrate the unity of all forces in the universe.

Visit the
ANITA web site

UCLA Physics and Astronomy Department   UCLA Astronomy and Astrophysics

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