Studying Very-high-energy Cosmic Particle Accelerators with Ground-based Cherenkov Telescopes

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Date/Time:Monday, 30 Nov 2009 from 4:10 pm to 5:10 pm
Location:Physics, room 3
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Matthias Beilicke (Washington University)

Ground-based Cherenkov telescopes such as VERITAS measure very-high-energy (VHE; E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray photons. VHE gamma-ray astronomy has proven to be very successful in studying relativistic emission processes of cosmic particle accelerators. Different classes of objects - galactic and extragalactic - are established sources of VHE gamma radiation, allowing for detailed insights into the corresponding energetics and emission processes. The status and future prospects of this field will be discussed in the view of multi-wavelength observations and interpretation, based on two examples of VHE gamma-ray sources: (i) The unidentified VHE source HESS J1303-631 for which no counterpart at other wavelength is identified so far and (ii) the giant radio galaxy M87 for which recent experimental evidence is found that the VHE gamma-ray emission originates from the close vicinity of the central black hole which located in this galaxy.


I studied physics at the University of Hamburg, Germany. In 2006 I finished my PhD (supervisor Goetz Heinzelmann) working for the H.E.S.S. experiment which operates four Cherenkov telescopes in Namibia. After a 1-year post-doc at the University of Hamburg I started my post-doc at Washington University in St. Louis in July 2007 working for the VERITAS experiment which operates four Cherenkov telescopes in southern Arizona.