High-energy particles generation in violent astrophysical environments

Prof. Kinwah Wu

Ultra-high-energy cosmic-rays and neutrinos (with energies above TeV) are believed to be generated in very violent astrophysical environments, such as relativistic jets in AGN (which include quasars and blazars), accreting black holes in X-ray binaries, gamma-ray bursts, supernovae and pulsars. It is still an unresolved issue regarding how astro-particles with energies above 10^19 eV are produced. The present view is that charged particles, such as protons, are accelerated in shocks and these particles are confined by magnetic fields in the acceleration region. After they escape their confinements they interact with the ambient media and the CMB to produce lower-energy particles and neutrinos. This project investigates the acceleration of charged particles in violent astrophysical systems and the subsequent neutrino production. It also investigates the consequences of the presence of ultra-high energy particles in large systems, such as galaxies, galaxy clusters, super clusters and the ionisation fronts when the Universe emerge from the dark age. It is a theoretical project, involving phenomenology, analytic calculations and numerical computation.