Cherenkov Telescope Array

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) project is an international initiative to build the next generation ground-based very high energy gamma-ray observatory. It will serve as an open observatory to a wide particle astrophysics community and will provide a deep insight into the non-thermal high-energy universe.

The aims of the CTA can be roughly grouped into three main themes, serving as key science drivers:

  • Understanding the origin of cosmic rays and their role in the Universe
  • Understanding the nature and variety of particle acceleration around black holes
  • Searching for the ultimate nature of matter and physics beyond the Standard Model
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Besides anticipated high-energy astrophysics results, CTA will have a large discovery potential in key areas of astronomy, astrophysics and fundamental physics research.

The design envisages a lowering of the energy threshold to a few tens of GeV to bridge the gap between spaced based and ground based detectors; an order of magnitude improvement in sensitivity compared to the current very high energy gamma ray domain of about 100 GeV to some 10 TeV; and an extension of the accessible energy range to above 100 TeV to identify the cosmic "Pevatrons" that are the source of cosmic rays.

Further details are available on the CTA observatory website.

The CTA-UK group is formed from the Universities of Liverpool, Leicester, Durham, Edinburgh, Southampton, Nottingham and Oxford, Liverpool John Moores University and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories whose webpages are The UK groups are responsible for the development of a low cost, large field of view camera for a novel dual mirror design of Cherenkov telescope.

Liverpool people involved

  • Tim Greenshaw
  • Michael Daniel
  • Peter Sutcliffe
  • Peter Cooke