Studying Nature's Highest Energy Particles with the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory

Paul Sommers
University of Utah Physics Department


Abstract
Nature somehow produces particles with energies greater than 20 Joules apiece.  They are very rare, but they have been detected
by giant cosmic ray detectors.  Their arrival directions indicate that they do not originate in our Galaxy, but particles of such
high energy cannot travel freely through the cosmic background radiation of intergalactic space.  The Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray
Observatory is an international effort to acquire the data needed to discover the origin of these remarkable particles.