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The Renaissance of Radio Detection of Cosmic Rays

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In the 1960s, researchers at the Jodrell Bank Observatory discovered that cosmic ray air showers emit pulsed radio signals at MHz frequencies. After a decade of very active research, however, activities in the field ceased completely.

Since 2001, radio detection of cosmic ray air showers has experianced an impressive renaissance. The LOPES experiment in particular has pioneered a modern approach to cosmic ray detection using digital radio-interferometry. LOPES has confirmed that the radio emission is coherent, is of dominantly geomagnetic origin, and has great potential for large scale application complementing existing detection techniques for ultra-high energy cosmic rays. This potential is currently being evaluated with the Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA), which in its final setup will consist of 160 antennas covering an area of 20 square kilometres.

In this talk, I will review the revival of the radio detection technique, describe its current status and open questions, and discuss its future development.

This talk is part of the Cavendish Astrophysics Seminars series.

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