A Trillion Times the Energy of Visible Light - High Energy Gamma Rays from Space (Speaker: Stefan Funk)

Tuesday, November 19,
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Stefan Funk, Stanford

The Universe is populated by numerous exotic and violent phenomena, colossal explosions, supermassive black holes, rapidly rotating neutron stars, and shock waves of gas moving at supersonic speeds. Many of these astrophysical objects can generate almost inconceivable amounts of energy and accelerate particles to energies way beyond those accessible in human-made accelerators. Current generation instruments such as the Fermi Space Gamma Ray Telescope and the planned Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) can view gamma rays over several decades in energy up to and beyond TeV energies (a trillion times the energy of visible light). I will describe recent discoveries and the current status and future plans of the field of gamma-ray astrophysics.