Research @ KICP
January 14, 2008
KICP Space Explorers Study Cosmic Rays and Black Holes
by Randy Landsberg
Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, hosted nineteen Chicago inner-city middle and high school students for this year's KICP Space Explorers Winter Institute. The theme of <i>Mapping Motion</i> was developed in conjunction with the Chicago-wide Festival of Maps. Under the guidance of instructors including KICP Director of Education and Outreach Randy Landsberg, Associate Fellows Jeremy Tinker and Chris Thom, and graduate student Zosia Krusberg, students participated in labs such as ''Shoot the Monkey'' and ''Weighing a Black Hole'' to explore the force of gravity and the ways in which scientists use our understanding of gravity to map motions in the Universe. A special highlight was a presentation by KICP Visiting Scholar Joao de Mello on the Pierre Auger Observatory and its <a target='_blank' href='http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/318/5852/938'>very recent results</a> on tracing the source of ultra-high energy cosmic rays back to activity caused by extremely massive black holes at the center of galaxies.