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The nature of cosmic explosions

Objective

Cosmic explosions, the violent deaths of stars, play a crucial role in many of the most interesting open questions in physics today. These events serve as “cosmic accelerators” for ultra-high-energy particles that are beyond reach for even to most powerful terrestrial accelerators, as well as distant sources for elusive neutrinos. Explosions leave behind compact neutron stars and black hole remnants, natural laboratories to study strong gravity. Acting as cosmic furnaces, these explosions driven the chemical evolution of the Universe Cosmic explosions trigger and inhibit star formation processes, and drive galactic evolution (“feedback”). Distances measured using supernova explosions as standard candles brought about the modern revolution in our view of the accelerating Universe, driven by enigmatic “dark energy”. Understanding the nature of cosmic explosions of all types is thus an extremely well-motivated endeavour. I have been studying cosmic explosions for over a decade, and since the earliest stages of my career, have followed an ambition to figure out the nature of cosmic explosions of all types, and to search for new types of explosions. Having already made several key discoveries, I now propose to undertake a comprehensive program to systematically tackle this problem.I review below the progress made in this field and the breakthrough results we have achieved so far, and propose to climb the next step in this scientific and technological ladder, combining new powerful surveys with comprehensive multi-wavelength and multi-disciplinary (observational and theoretical) analysis. My strategy is based on a combination of two main approaches: detailed studies of single objects which serve as keys to specific questions; and systematic studies of large samples, some that I have, for the first time, been able to assemble and analyze, and those expected from forthcoming efforts. Both approaches have already yielded tantalizing results.

Call for proposal

ERC-2012-StG_20111012
See other projects for this call

Host institution

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Israel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 499 302
Principal investigator
Avishay Gal-Yam (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Gabi Bernstein (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Israel
EU contribution
€ 1 499 302
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Avishay Gal-Yam (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Gabi Bernstein (Ms.)