Angela Olinto

Document Type



Winter 1-26-2010


The most energetic particles in the universe are ultra-high energy cosmic rays. Millions of times more powerful than anything produced by man-made accelerators, their origin has been a mystery for about a century. Over the last several years, an international collaboration of 18 countries joined forces to solve this mystery by building the Pierre Auger Observatory. Spread over 3,000 square kilometers in western Argentina, the observatory was recently inaugurated. During its construction, the observatory gathered enough of these rare particles to find the first clues to their origin. The most energetic of these particles tend to point to cosmologically nearby galaxies that host super massive black holes at their centers. Over the next years, scientists working on Auger will be carefully studying these most extreme particles, learning where they come from and what they are made of in order to solve the longstanding mystery of where they come from and how they are accelerated to the highest energies ever observed.


Dr. Angela Olinto is a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the College; Enrico Fermi Institute; Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago.

Streaming Media



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.