Ken Gibbs (1955 - 2022)
2022-Jul-05: It is with great sadness that the VERITAS Collaboration notes the passing of Ken Gibbs, who died peacefully at home on 23 June 2022. Ken was a driving force behind the realisation of VERITAS and played a foundational role in the development of the imaging atmospheric Cherenkov technique while a graduate student with the Whipple collaboration.
Ken's 1986 University of Arizona PhD dissertation entitled "Application of Imaging to the Atmospheric Cherenkov Technique: Observations of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar" paved the way for the first detection of a source, the Crab Nebula, at TeV energies in 1989 and the birth of a new branch of astronomy.
Ken was employed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory as Operations Manager for VERITAS from 2001 to 2011 where he was a leader in the design, construction and initial operation of the VERITAS array. Ken also made outstanding contributions to the CASA/MIA air shower experiment at the Enrico Fermi Institute of the University of Chicago from 1987 to 1993 and the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina from 1995 to 2001, with which he was a senior research associate. The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) radio telescope also benefited from Ken's expertise when he served as its project manager from 2014 to 2015.
Ken was an inspirational colleague and will be sorely missed by the many people who had the opportunity to work with him.
The VERITAS Collaboration offers its sincerest condolences to Ken's wife, Lynette Wood, and family at this difficult time.
An obituary for Ken can be found here: (https://www.islandssounder.com/obituaries/kenneth-gibbs-passages/)
Quick link to our results pages (one page per paper, with descriptive text and all figures).
VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) is a ground-based gamma-ray instrument operating at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) in southern Arizona, USA. It is an array of four 12m optical reflectors for gamma-ray astronomy in the GeV - TeV energy range. These imaging Cherenkov telescopes are deployed such that they have the highest sensitivity in the VHE energy band (50 GeV - 50 TeV), with maximum sensitivity from 100 GeV to 10 TeV. This VHE observatory effectively complements the NASA Fermi mission.
View of the FLWO basecamp and the VERITAS array. Click on the image for a hi-res version.
VERITAS is supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution, by NSERC in Canada, and by the Helmholtz Association in Germany. This research uses resources provided by the Open Science Grid, which is supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, and resources of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility operated under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. We acknowledge the excellent work of the technical support staff at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory and at the collaborating institutions in the construction and operation of the instrument.