Multimessenger Astroparticle Physics 2018/19 (PhD Course at the University of Padova)

Alessandro De Angelis (INFN and INAF Padova; Universities of Udine, Padova, Lisboa)

One of the new frontiers of fundamental physics is the field called astroparticle physics. The sky at high-energy (above some 100 keV) unveils the nature of fundamental astrophysical phenomena, and opens a window on new physics, possibly including the nature of dark matter. High-energy astrophysics has recently became multimessenger thanks to the detection of gravitational waves and astrophysical neutrinos. This course introduces the interdisciplinary subject of multimessenger astroparticle physics, providing students with the tools needed to understand current problems, read a modern article in the field, and analyze the data from the Fermi high-energy gamma-ray telescope - these data are, as usual for NASA, public.

Learning Outcome

1. Understand the basic physical processes involving high-energy particles and originating the emission of high-energy messengers - in particular: photons and neutrinos 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 multimessenger astroparticle physics.

6. Read a scientific article related to 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 - or in alternative analyze the photon emission from a gamma-ray source. They will be asked to solve exercises at home.

Textbook: De Angelis and Pimenta, “Introduction to particle and astroparticle physics”, 2nd edition, Springer 2018. Slides presented at the lectures.