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Investigation of high energy and plasma astrophysics phenomena: theory, numerical simulations, observations, and instrument development for the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA)

Grant number: 13/10559-5
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: August 01, 2014 - July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Astronomy
Principal Investigator:Elisabete Maria de Gouveia Dal Pino
Grantee:Elisabete Maria de Gouveia Dal Pino
Home Institution: Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Co-Principal Investigators:Adriana Benetti Marques Valio ; Diego Antonio Falceta Gonçalves
Assoc. researchers:Antônio Mário Magalhães ; Germán Lugones ; Vera Jatenco Silva Pereira
Associated grant(s):18/03374-2 - Radiation hydrodynamics simulations of gas removal in dwarf galaxies, AV.EXT
16/50340-0 - Determining the relationship between turbulence and star formation, using statistical comparisons between large observational datasets and a large ensemble of theoretical models, AP.R
15/06171-7 - XXIX IAU General Assembly, AR.EXT
Associated scholarship(s):18/06822-6 - Multi-band study of protostellar objects in the star forming region CMA R1, BP.PD
17/23026-6 - 3D analysis of the damping of magneto-acoustic waves in coronal loops associated with flaring events, BP.PD
17/26042-2 - Heating mechanisms of protostellar accretion disks, BP.MS
+ associated scholarships 16/25901-9 - Star-planet magnetic interactions and its consequences for planetary habitability, BP.DR
16/12320-8 - Numerical study of magnetic reconnection around black hole, BP.PD
16/22092-2 - Heating mechanisms of protostellar accretion disks, BP.IC
15/25126-2 - Interaction of jets with the intracluster medium: the role of jet precession, BP.PD
15/13933-0 - Probing relativistic jets and high energy emission through Multi-wavelength observation analysis, BP.PD
13/09065-8 - Origin and collimation of compact source jets and acceleration mechanisms, BP.PD
11/22078-6 - Galaxy evolution-Star formation connection: from PC to KPC scales, BP.PD - associated scholarships


Most of the visible matter in the Universe is in a plasma state, i.e., is composed of ionized or partially ionized gas permeated by magnetic fields. The High Energy and Plasma Astrophysics group of E. M. de Gouveia Dal Pino of the Instituto de Astronomia, Geologia e Ciências Atmosféricas da Universidade de São Paulo (IAG-USP), A. B. M. Valio of the Centro de Radioastronomia e Astrofísica da Universidade Mackenzie (CRAAA) and Diego Falceta Goncalves of EACH-USP have been developing several correlated projects using theoretical and numerical magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) fluid description, as well as observational tools, to investigate astrophysical plasmas and high energy phenomena. In this framework, special emphasis has been given to the studies of: 1) astrophysical jets and accretion disks/coronae around stars and black holes; 2) origin, propagation, and acceleration of cosmic rays; 3) stellar and galactic winds and their gas/energy/magnetic field feedback into the cosmic environment; 4) effects of MHD turbulence and supernova shocks on star formation and magnetic flux transport; 5) solar and stellar magnetic activity, the dynamo problem, and construction of a Virtual Solar Observatory; 6) extra-solar planets, small extra-solar bodies and dwarf stellar companions; 7) planet migration; 8) the shaping of the magnetic field properties of the local universe; and 9) the origin and evolution of cosmic magnetic fields in the turbulent intracluster (ICM) and intergalactic medium (IGM) employing a kinetic-MHD (KMHD) description. Most of these studies have been carried out with the help of fully 3D MHD numerical modelling employing sophisticated codes and numerical techniques, and focusing on the development of high energy and fundamental plasmas processes such as, turbulence, magnetic reconnection, dynamo action, shock waves, MHD and kinetic instabilities, and stochastic acceleration, which have resulted in significant contributions in the field. In this Proposal we aim to continue these studies.Besides, in the recent years, our group has been involved in the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) Project, an international collaboration (involving 29 countries) aiming the construction of a new generation of ground-based gamma-ray telescopes. CTA will provide the deepest ever insight into the non-thermal, high-energy universe and allow significant contributions to cosmology, astroparticle physics and, in particular, to cosmic ray accelerators, cosmic magnetic fields and gamma-ray burst (GRB) investigation. Currently, the construction of a CTA Mini-Array consisting of a small sample of (up to 7) Cherenkov telescopes has been approved by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research under the coordination of Giovanni Pareschi, Director of the INAF-Brera Astronomical Observatory, which will constitute a pathfinder and the "core" for the big array and allow for extensive testing and high quality data gathering already in the preparatory and construction phase of the full CTA. The approved funding by the Italian government will be able to sponsor only part of the Mini-Array. The present proposal aims to request funding to support the construction of three (3) Cherenkov telescopes, in order to complete the CTA Mini-Array, in full partnership with the Italian group, with complete access to the technological know-how and the array construction. Besides, as described above, in view of the extensive number of related projects being developed by our group, an upgrade of our computational facilities (also acquired with former FAPESP support) will be necessary. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP about the research grant
Gamma-rays help us understand how the universe was formed 
Observatory will permit studies of gamma rays with unprecedented precision 
New infrastructure for astroparticle physics research in South America  
Articles published in Revista Pesquisa FAPESP about the project
A trap for ghosts 
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