Max Malacari

About Me

I'm an Associate Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago, interested in the detection of ultra-high energy cosmic rays via the showers of secondary particles they produce when they interact with the earth's atmosphere.
I am a member of the Pierre Auger Collaboration, and have been involved in the development of a next-generation air fluorescence detector, the Fluorescence detector Array of Single-pixel Telescopes (FAST).

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Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

2016 - Present Associate Fellow

  • Leader of the simulation group within a small collaboration (~15 people) developing a class-leading next-generation detector for ultra-high energy cosmic rays, the Fluorescence detector Array of Single-pixel Telescopes (FAST).
  • Design, development and installation of the detector, as well as analysis of initial R&D data.
  • Work closely with both the large-scale anisotropy and atmospheric monitoring task-forces of the Pierre Auger Observatory (Auger — an international collaboration of ~400 scientists).
  • Co-supervise graduate and undergraduate students on high-impact analyses within the Auger and FAST collaborations.
  • Present results on behalf of both the FAST and Auger collaborations at large international conferences.

Organiser of the KICP’s Life Long Learning outreach program, where we send enthusiastic science speakers to retirement homes and community centres around Chicago to engage with typically underserved audiences.

University of Adelaide

2013 - 2016 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Thesis title: “Systematic Effects in the Measurement of Vertical Aerosol Profiles at the Pierre Auger Observatory.”

  • Development of advanced laser-based techniques for determining the vertical distribution of atmospheric aerosols responsible for the attenuation and scattering of fluorescence light from extensive air showers.
  • Significantly reduced the systematic uncertainty associated with measurements of the aerosol atmosphere.
  • Algorithm now adopted by the collaboration for the reconstruction of all data recorded at Auger.
  • Highly active member the atmospheric monitoring taskforce.

University of Adelaide

2011 - 2013 Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Thesis title: “Studies of Fluorescence Profile Reconstruction Systematics at the Pierre Auger Observatory.”

  • Systematic studies of the reconstruction of the Cherenkov light contaminating data measured with the Observatory’s fluorescence detectors.


Fluorescence detector Array of Single-pixel Telescopes

2013 - Present Utah, USA

A next-generation air fluorescence telescope. Three full-scale R&D prototypes of this detector have been successfully taking data at the site of the Telescope Array Experiment in the desert of central Utah, USA, since September 2016.

Pierre Auger Observatory

2011 - Present Malargüe, Argentina

A 3,000 square kilometre observatory near the town of Malargüe in the desert of western Argentina, designed to measure the properties of cosmic rays at the highest energies.

Pierre Auger Observatory

This time lapse sequence showing the night sky above the Pierre Auger Observatory was constructed from a series of images captured in November/December 2013. Credit: Steven Saffi.

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Chicago, IL

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