Exploring the High-energy Universe

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 3:00pm

Speaker: Stefan Funk, KIPAC

Stefan Funk is an assistant professor at SLAC and Stanford University and is a member of the Kavli Institute for Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology (KIPAC). His research interests focus on high energy astrophysics with instruments spanning the energy range from keV X-rays to the highest-energy gamma-rays detected from any astrophysical object with Cherenkov telescopes at up to 100 TeV. His field of study is the acceleration of particles to ultra-relativistic energies in astrophysical objects and the investigation of the energetic Universe using gamma-ray photons.

Program Description

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. Gamma-ray observations with instruments such as the Fermi-LAT or H.E.S.S. are born out of particle physics techniques but have helped in recent years to put the "extreme Universe" on the landscape of astrophysics. I will describe how recent observations of with gamma-ray instruments have unraveled some of the physical processes behind the extreme Universe and what the future holds for this field.

Exploring the High-energy Universe
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