Date: Wednesday 30th January 2002
Title: Ultra-High Cosmic Rays: the present position
Speaker: Professor Alan Watson (Leeds)
The existence of cosmic rays with energies above 10^20 eV presents problems as no anisotropy is seen and it is hard to envisage astrophysical sources that can accelerate them. This has led to a wide range of theories for their origin, some of which require new physics. I will review the experimental data and show that the super- heavy relic model (Wimpzillas) is probably not tenable. More data are needed. I will describe progress on the construction of the 3000 km^2 Pierre Auger Observatory, the engineering phase of which has now been successfully completed.