9-13 July 2012
Plenary - Gamma-ray bursts and other transients: Ephemeral tests of extreme physics
Presented by Prof. Ralph WIJERS on 10 Jul 2012 from 09:30 to 10:30
Type: Oral Presentation
Track: Track D1 - Astrophysics
Gamma-ray bursts were discovered serendipitously by test ban treaty verfication programmes in the 1960s. They became one of the longest-lasting enigma's in astrophysics until observations with new technologies in 1990s revealed them to be distant explosions, in which massive stars in their death form a black hole. Both in probing the extreme end of gravitational physics and magnetohydrodynamics, and in probing the very distant Universe, they allow us to test fundamental physics in regimes well beyond the reach of terrestrial laboratories. I will give an overview of the current state of affairs, and will also show how time-domain astronomy with modern radio telescopes such as LOFAR and ultimately the SKA may lead us to even rarer and stranger objects, possibly signalling even more extreme physics.