AuthorKwok, Ping Wai.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis project is to search for Very High Energy (VHE) (10¹¹ eV to 10¹⁴ eV) gamma rays from the Crab nebula and pulsar using the atmospheric Cherenkov imaging technique. The technique uses an array of 37 photomultiplier tubes to record the images of the Cherenkov light pulses generated by energetic particles in the air showers initiated by VHE gamma rays or charged cosmic rays. Gamma-ray-like events are selected from numerous cosmic-ray events based on the predicted properties of the image, such as the size, shape, and orientation with respect to the axis of the detector. A steady weak flux of VHE gamma rays from the Crab is detected at high statistical significance (9 sigma), which is not usually achieved in VHE gamma-ray astronomy. No strong evidence of pulsed emission is found when the same data is folded at the Crab pulsar's radio ephemeris. The angular resolution of the technique cannot separate the emission coming from the nebula from that from the pulsar. Although it is generally believed that the unpulsed emission is coming from the nebula, there may be an unpulsed component coming at only a couple of light cylinder radii away from the pulsar too. Using the outer gap model of pulsar, the spectrum is derived and is found to be compatible with the observations.