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
Our MAGIC Team
We joined MAGIC in 2005