Abstract: Since their discovery by the secret Vela satellites in the early seventies, gamma ray bursts or GRBs have represented one of the greatest challenges of Astrophysics. The Compton satellite gave the first evidence for their isotropic distribution in the Universe and pointed to the existence of two very different kind of GRBs: the short ones,with duration less the one second and the remaining ones as long GRBs.
From a theoretical point of view in 1973 with Thibault Damour, we pointed out the possibility that these GRBs could represent the emission of energy originating in the vacuum polarization process of an extreme Kerr-Newman Black Hole, and their energy could be as large as 1054 Erg and be extragalactic in energy. The enormous observational progress made possible first by the BeppoSAX mission, the optical telescopes in the Hubble mission and VLT from the ground were essential in determining the extragalactic nature of these sources. Then, the Spectra and temporal information gained from the SWIFT satellite and the FERMI mission—some of the most successful science missions ever—have given the possibility to reveal a new, much more complex structure in GRBs.
Far from being just a temporarily limited elementary phenomenon, GRBs are the manifestation of many body interactions between neutron stars, supernovae on-setting, just born Black Holes, as originally predicted, as well as the birth of novel neutron stars. GRBs provide an authentic laboratory of relativistic astrophysics without precedent in the history of physics and astrophysics with the opening of new frontiers in the understanding of the Universe.
Bio: Doctorate in Physics, University of Rome. Professor, Chair of Theoretical Physics, University of Rome 1978-2012. Director of International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics Network ICRANet since 2005.
Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Physics/Astrophysics Bldg., Kistler Conference Rooms 102/103 (Map)
(Light refreshments available 3:45pm; Presentation begins at 4:00pm)
Open to All