NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is featured on the cover of the August 14 issue of Science, and UCSC physicists and astronomers are coauthors of three major papers reporting scientific results from Fermi in this issue of the journal. A "Perspectives" article discusses the flood of new results from the telescope. Some of these findings were published online in Science Express in July (see press release).
A team of UCSC physicists at the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP) played a leading role in the development of the main instrument on Fermi (see earlier stories about the launch and initial results). Robert Johnson, professor of physics, led the team, which spent nearly 16 years working on the gamma-ray detecting system for Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT). Bill Atwood, adjunct professor of physics, came up with the LAT's overall design concept. Over the years, approximately a dozen UCSC undergraduates, six graduate students, and five postdoctoral physicists contributed to this huge undertaking.
Steve Ritz, who served as project scientist for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope as an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., joined the UCSC faculty this year as a professor of physics. Ritz has been involved with Fermi (formerly known as GLAST) since 1996.