The MAGIC Experiment

Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov

MAGIC is a system of two Cherenkov telescopes, MAGIC-I and MAGIC-II, completed in 2004 and 2009, respectively. It is located in the Roque de los Muchacos observatory, on the island of La Palma, part of the Canary Islands, at about 2200 m above sea level. These are ground-based telescopes capable of monitoring very high-energy electromagnetic phenomena, in particular γ-rays.

The two MAGIC telescopes are ground-based γ-ray detectors. The mirrors receive light and focus it on the camera matrix. They can register [wiki base="EN" thumbnail="on"]Cherenkov radiation[/wiki] from the blue to the ultraviolet range of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are capable of recording a large number of Cherenkov photons caused by a single γ-ray at the top of the atmosphere, and thus, through the camera's image, it can be determined whether or not this is actually a γ-ray, as well as its energy and origin.

Registering ultra-high energy gamma radiation is only possible through Cherenkov radiation. The Earth's atmosphere allows only certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation to pass, mainly in the visible, infrared, and long radio wavelengths, and is not transparent for the others, including γ-rays. However, in the process of absorbing γ-quants from the atmosphere, a high-energy secondary particle shower is created. These particles emit radiation with a characteristic angle – Cherenkov radiation. The energies of the Cherenkov photons are of the order of the visible and ultraviolet spectrum, allowing them to be viewed with sensitive ground-based instruments.

Areas of research

Supernova remnants

MAGIC contributes to the goal of studying the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Among the
objectives are both galactic and extragalactic observations.
Some of the important galactic objects are the supernova remnants - they are considered
the site of creation and acceleration of galactic cosmic rays, with energies up to 3 PeV. If this
is the case, the shock acceleration creates γ-rays. This determines the need to investigate
supernova remnants of energies of the order of TeV.

Galaxy Center

Other important galactic observations are those of the center of the Milky Way - containing a
supermassive black hole, accreting matter from its surroundings. There are different objects
in the central regions of our galaxy: supernova remnants, molecular clouds, star-forming
regions and others, in which extreme particle acceleration occurs, resulting in the emission
of γ-rays.

Neutron stars and black holes

Also examined are binary systems where one of the components is a neutron star or a black
hole. For 8 such systems it is known that their non-thermal radiation is mainly in the γ-range.
Other objects are pulsars - highly magnetized, fast-rotating neutron stars, as well as binary
systems consisting of a pulsar and a very low mass component, globular star clusters, magnets, star formation areas, etc.

Gamma Ray Bursts

Among the extragalactic sites of interest are the Gamma Ray Bursts - exotic objects whose
nature is almost unknown. Observing at very high energies enables studying the central
engine and understanding the interaction between the relativistic flow and the progenitor.

Active galactic nuclei

More and more active galactic nuclei are observed, some of them very distant from us. Most
of them are blazars, radio-loud nuclei with relativistic jets directed along the line of sight. The blazar spectral energy distribution covers from the radio band to energies of the TeV range.
Most of the blazars emitting in the high energies belong to the BL Lac class.

Extragalactic background radiation

Observations of extragalactic background radiation, diffuse galactic emissions, as well as
nearby galaxies with areas of active star formation and supernovae are also performed.

MAGIC also helps in the search for answers to the questions of fundamental physics. Dark
matter can also be observed through high-energy γ-rays. Such signals come from areas of
high concentration of dark matter - the galactic center, clusters of galaxies, intermediate-
mass black holes and so on. MAGIC can also be a tool for neutrino exploration, giving a lot
of new information about the flux of tau-neutrinos and shedding light on the radiation

Our MAGIC Team

We joined MAGIC in 2005

Vassil Verguilov


    Petar Temnikov

    Professor, PhD

    Call: (+359) 2 9795568

    Email: [email protected]

      Galina Maneva

      Assoc. Professor, Ph.D.

      Call: (+359) 2 979-5568

      Email: [email protected]

        Martin Makariev

        Assistant Professor, Ph.D.

        Call: (+359) 2 97-95-5549

        Email: [email protected]

          Milen Minev

          Ph.D. Student