CaltechAUTHORS
  A Caltech Library Service

Catching Element Formation In The Act - The Case for a New MeV Gamma-Ray Mission: Radionuclide Astronomy in the 2020s

Fryer, Chris L. and Grefenstette, Brian and Harrison, Fiona and Madsen, Kristin (2019) Catching Element Formation In The Act - The Case for a New MeV Gamma-Ray Mission: Radionuclide Astronomy in the 2020s. Astro2020 Science White Paper, . (Unpublished) https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20190917-133401954

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.

1884Kb

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item: https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20190917-133401954

Abstract

Gamma-ray astronomy explores the most energetic photons in nature to address some of the most pressing puzzles in contemporary astrophysics. It encompasses a wide range of objects and phenomena: stars, supernovae, novae, neutron stars, stellar-mass black holes, nucleosynthesis, the interstellar medium, cosmic rays and relativistic-particle acceleration, and the evolution of galaxies. MeV gamma-rays provide a unique probe of nuclear processes in astronomy, directly measuring radioactive decay, nuclear de-excitation, and positron annihilation. The substantial information carried by gamma-ray photons allows us to see deeper into these objects, the bulk of the power is often emitted at gamma-ray energies, and radioactivity provides a natural physical clock that adds unique information. New science will be driven by time-domain population studies at gamma-ray energies. This science is enabled by next-generation gamma-ray instruments with one to two orders of magnitude better sensitivity, larger sky coverage, and faster cadence than all previous gamma-ray instruments. This transformative capability permits: (a) the accurate identification of the gamma-ray emitting objects and correlations with observations taken at other wavelengths and with other messengers; (b) construction of new gamma-ray maps of the Milky Way and other nearby galaxies where extended regions are distinguished from point sources; and (c) considerable serendipitous science of scarce events -- nearby neutron star mergers, for example. Advances in technology push the performance of new gamma-ray instruments to address a wide set of astrophysical questions.


Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.02915arXivDiscussion Paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Fryer, Chris L.0000-0003-2624-0056
Grefenstette, Brian0000-0002-1984-2932
Harrison, Fiona0000-0003-2992-8024
Madsen, Kristin0000-0003-1252-4891
Additional Information:A White Paper for the 2020 Decadal Survey.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Astronomy Department
Series Name:Astro2020 Science White Paper
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190917-133401954
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20190917-133401954
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98680
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Sep 2019 21:48
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page