Publication date: 
The tasting of data from the largest observatory dedicated to the study of cosmic rays of extreme energies - the Pierre Auger Observatory - is organized by Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of Czech Technical University in Prague and Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The event will be held as part of the International Masterclasses Hands on Particle Physics 2023 on Friday 24 March.


"This year we have decided to support a new theme within the Masterclasses on the Pierre Auger Observatory. This astroparticle experiment brings together experts from several disciplines, from particle physicists to astronomers to opticians," said the organiser of the programme, doc. Jaroslav Bielčík from Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of Czech Technical University.

"As part of the event, students will examine data from measurements of rare atmospheric showers of secondary cosmic radiation. This is caused by particles arriving from space with energies so high that no accelerator on Earth has yet reached them," explains Alena Bakalová, who is a PhD student at both organising institutions.

The Pierre Auger Observatory is located in the Argentine pampas and hosts scientists from 17 countries around the world. Experts from Institute of Physics of the CAS have been involved in research at the observatory since its inception. "It's an admirable project," says Dr Petr Trávníček from Institute of Physics of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, another organiser of the event, "only the surface detector array is larger than a quarter of the Central Bohemia region."

In the morning, the students will attend popular science lectures by Czech scientists working at the observatory; in the afternoon, the participants will process the data themselves and answer the question of where the most energetic particles come to us from space. The event will then culminate in a video conference with the observatory in Argentina and participating universities and institutions in Europe.

The International Masterclasses is an international project delivered by scientists from around 225 universities and laboratories in 60 countries. It offers the opportunity to work side by side with scientists and get an idea of how modern research in particle physics works. More than 13,000 students take part each year.

More information can be found on the web:

Contact person: 
Ing. Šárka Salačová, Ph.D.