UMD Physics

Andrew James Smith

Assistant Research Scientist
University of Maryland, Dept of Physics

Here I am in India

I am a physicist on on the Milagro Gamma-Ray Observatory. Milagro is a ground based TeV wide field of view gamma-ray detector located in the Jemez mountains near Los Alamos, New Mexico. We use a 5000 square meter covored pond instrumented with 723 8" photomultiplier tubes (sensitive light detectors) to detect cosmic-ray and gamma-ray induced cascades that reach the ground level. The focus of my reseach is the search for very high energy counterparts to gamma-ray bursts and the study diffuse gamma-ray emission from the plane of our galaxy.

I am also working on the development of HAWC, a High Altitude Water Cherenkov telescope that will further exploit the large water detector technology for gamma-ray astonomy. Simulations indicate that the HAWC detector could be more than 100x more sensitive as Milagro. We are currenlty developing a design for a prototype of the HAWC detector , miniHAWC, which will relocate the Milagro instrumentation in a larger pond at a high altitude site. Through design imporvements to the detector and increased altitude, the miniHAWC detector is expected to be ~15 times more sensitive to gamma-ray point sources than Milagro.

Relavant Links:
Milagro Webpage at Los Alamos National Lab
The Department of Physics at the University of Maryland
Particle Astrophysics Webpage at the University of Maryland

Selected Publications:

B.S. in Physics, Univerity of California, Davis  1988
M.S. in Physics, University of California, San Diego  1990
PhD in Physics, University of California, Irvine 1996
       PhD Thesis: A Study of Selected Decays of the Psi and Psi' States of Charmonium