Telescope Array on NPR's Science Friday Podcast

National Public Radio's Science Friday podcast recently featured an episode about the discovery of the second-highest energy particle ever observed. Ira Flatow, science correspondent and host of Science Friday interviewed John Matthews of the Telescope Array Project about this new discovery.

The interview covers the basics of cosmic ray science and how the Telescope Array detects these incoming particles. They also discuss ultra high-energy cosmic rays like this most recent discovery and why their existence challenges our current understanding of the universe.

That’s one of the real mysteries is, in the last 20-ish years, since 2008 when we’ve been operating the Telescope Array, we’ve detected 30 particles that are in not too much farther from this but above 10 to the 20th electronvolts. And they all appear to come from nowhere. And in specific, these really, really high ones, high energy ones, that come from the great void next to us or the “Oh my God” particle comes from someplace else, none of them really looks like they come from any place you might expect.

The full episode can be found here.