April 18, 2011 Wednesday 15:30
Tülün Ergin, Boğaziçi University
Particle Astrophysics with GeV and TeV Gamma Rays

Abstract:Some of the most challenging questions of astrophysics today are what the nature of dark matter and dark energy is, when and how the first galaxies formed, and understanding the sites of production and acceleration of cosmic rays (CRs). These questions are tied to better understand the evolution and fate of the universe.

This talk will highlight my area of research, particle astrophysics, where I’m specialized in the field of gamma-ray astronomy. Gamma rays are important carriers of information, as they are produced abundantly in galactic and extragalactic sources and propagate in space without being deflected by interstellar and intergalactic magnetic fields. They can be detected effectively with space-borne instruments like NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (FGST) and ground-based instruments, the imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs). Recent observations of IACTs, such as H.E.S.S., VERITAS, and MAGIC resulted in detections of many galactic and extra-galactic sources, such as black holes at the centers of galaxies, star formation regions, and remnants of dead stars including compact objects in our own Galaxy. In this talk I want to summarize my past and recent research by focusing on galactic sources, especially on supernova remnants and diffuse gamma-ray emission. If time allows, I will briefly discuss the future generation IACT telescopes, the CTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array) project planned to be built in Namibia. The diverse science goals of the future IACT arrays include galactic and extra-galactic gamma-ray astronomy with a much better angular resolution and flux sensitivity, as well as particle physics and cosmology.