High Energy Astrophysics

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High Energy Astrophysics

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NEWS: Massimo Gaspari has been awarded the 2013 Livio Gratton Prize, which is awarded every two years for the best Ph.D. thesis in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Dr. Gaspari was awarded the prize for his Ph.D. thesis, entitled ``Solving the Cooling Flow Problem through Mechanical AGN Feedback.'' The Gratton Prize is the most prestigious Italian prize given to young astronomers, honoring the memory of Prof. Livio Gratton, and supported by the Eta Carinae and Tuscolana Associations, the Gratton family, the Frascati district, and the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The official award ceremony took place in Frascati (Rome) on October 12th, 2013. Dr. Gaspari has been with the High Energy Group since 2012.

IMAGE: Massimo Gaspari (left) receives in Frascati the Gratton prize, presented by Giampaolo (middle) and Raffaele Gratton (right). Larger image

MPA High Energy Group
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The High Energy Astrophysics Group at the MPA deals with a broad range of astrophysical problems with a particular focus on the interaction of matter with radiation under extreme physical conditions.

The astrophysical objects of interest include the Universe as a whole (Physical Cosmology), clusters of galaxies, supermassive black holes active galactic nuclei, and accreting black holes and neutron stars in Galactic binaries. The group specializes on the theory and observational appearance of accretion onto compact objects, astrophysical plasmas in the interstellar and intercluster medium, and comptonization.

Our group members actively participate in the analysis and interpretation of observational data from the currently operating INTEGRAL, XMM-Newton, Chandra and RXTE spacecrafts, while maintaining strong ties with experimental groups at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), the Space Research Institute in Moscow (IKI), and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).


external link MPE, Garching, Germany
external link IKI (Space Research Institute), Moscow, Russia
external link Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, U.S.


external linkeROSITA
external linkPLANCK
external linkINTEGRAL
external linkXMM
external linkCHANDRA
external linkRXTE


linkThe Cosmic Microwave Background
Cosmic Microwave BackgroundThe group concentrates on radiative transfer effects in the universe. In particular it studies anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). These anisotropies can be due to various effects, including the first stars in the Universe and large scale structure.

linkActive Galactic Nuclei and Supermassive Black Holes
accretion The group works on supermassive black holes in the centers of massive galaxies, and the powerful active galactic nuclei (AGN) and quasars that result when these objects accrete gas. Topics of research include the statistical properties of AGN, the interplay between AGN and the local and cosmic environment (AGN feedback), the cosmological evolution of the supermassive black hole population, and observable signatures of binary and merging supermassive black holes.

linkX-ray Binaries and Stellar Compact Objects
X-ray BinariesThe group studies the properties of X-ray binaries, as well as neutron stars and white dwarfs. We investigate properties of individual objects --- such as the X-ray flux/luminosity, timing and spectral behaviour --- as well as global properties of populations of these compact objects with respect to their host galaxies.

linkGalaxy Clusters
Galaxy Clusters The group uses observational data and simulations to further the understanding of plasma in galaxies and galaxy clusters. Our investigations focus on the physics underlying the thermal state of the plasma, such as heat transfer, turbulence and viscosity, as well as the interplay of the plasma with active galactic nuclei.

linkAccretion Physics
accretion Accretion of gas onto compact objects powers the most energetic events in the cosmos, from luminous quasars billions of light years away to X-ray sources in our own Galaxy. In addition, accretion disks are thought to play a central role in the formation and evolution of extrasolar planets. The group works to further the theoretical understanding of this fundamental process.

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