Experimental astroparticle physics

Experimental astroparticle physics

One of the new frontiers of fundamental physics is the field called astroparticle physics. In particular the gamma-ray sky at high-energy (above the MeV) unveils the nature of fundamental astrophysical phenomena, and opens a window on new physics, possibly including the nature of dark matter.

 This course introduces such an interdisciplinary subject, providing students with the tools needed to understand current problems, read a modern article in the field, and analyze the data from a leading high-energy telescope - which are, as usual for NASA, public. Some basics links related to neutrino astrophysics and to the recent field of astrophysics with gravitational waves are also provided.

Learning Outcome

1. Understand the basic physical processes involving high-energy particles and originating the emission of high-energy messengers - in particular: photons from astrophysical accelerators in high-density regions and from Dark Matter.

2. Know the methods and observing techniques to study high-energy emissions.

3. Describe the sky as seen with high-energy detectors.

4. Identify the kinds of astrophysical sources visible at high energies and relate them to relevant emission processes.

5. Have insight into current research in gamma and multimessenger astroparticle physics.

6. Read a scientific article related to gamma and multimessenger astroparticle physics.

7. Analyze the data from the Fermi LAT gamma-ray satellite; extract a spectral energy distribution and a light curve for a generic source.

 

Prerequisites: Students should know the basics of quantum mechanics and of special relativity. Should know about basic physics processes and the expansion of the Universe.

 

Assessment: Students will be evaluated based on a final short seminar on an article or a modern research topic selected according to their interest.

 

Textbook: De Angelis and Pimenta, “Introduction to particle and astroparticle physics”, Springer 2015. Slides presented at the lectures.

 

Additional material (exercises with solutions etc.) can be found in the *** FREE *** volume collecting the lectures:

Astroparticle physics, By Alessandro De Angelis, 302 pp. Lulu 2017, ISBN 9780244905033

www.lulu.com/shop/alessandro-de-angelis/astroparticle-physics/ebook/product-23166797.html