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How Are High-Energy Particles Accelerated and What Is Their Impact?


Hinton,  Jim
Division Prof. Dr. James A. Hinton, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Galaxies are filled with particles traveling very close to the speed of light; these are so-called ultra-relativistic particles. Until recently, it was very difficult to investigate these particles because of a lack of good observational data and they have been rather neglected in the study of astrophysics. As JIM HINTON explains in this video, his research group is interested in understanding how these particles influence astrophysical processes. For this, they need to find out how and where these particles are accelerated and what their impact is. Focusing on high-energy gamma rays and exploring the morphology and spectrum of the gamma ray emission from their sources, they found – in contrast to what was previously assumed – that the acceleration of particles to such high energies is rather common in nature. The impact of these non-thermal relativistic particles on astrophysical processes cannot be ignored anymore. Thus, the Cherenkov Telescope Array ( has been initiated; this multinational project will be the world's largest and most sensitive high-energy gamma ray observatory.