Thesis Topic: Multi-wavelength and multi-messenger studies of blazars
Thesis Supervisor: Paolo Padovani
Blazars are a powerful type of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) that are playing an important and growing role in today's multi-frequency and multi-messenger astrophysics. They are characterized by the fact that their non-thermal, strongly anisotropic emission is coming from material moving at relativistic speed pointing in our direction. Once considered rare sources, blazars are now being detected in increasingly large numbers at mm and gamma-ray energies by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), the Planck, and Fermi satellites. Faint blazars are also being detected as serendipitous sources in SWIFT-XRT (X-ray) images and WISE (near-IR) data have turned out to be extremely interesting for blazar studies as well. The only source of high-energy neutrinos identified so far is also a blazar, TXS 0506+05.
Studies of blazars allow astronomers to touch upon a variety of topics, including the disk - jet relationship in AGN, jet physics, AGN feedback, radio source evolution, neutrino and cosmic ray astronomy, etc. In collaboration with Paolo Giommi, who is a senior scientist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Garching and is heavily involved with the SWIFT, Planck, NuSTAR, and Fermi missions, I am proposing a range of thesis topics, including:
- neutrino and cosmic ray (blazar) astronomy
- studies of very high energy (> 100 GeV) emitting blazars with current (and future) Cherenkov detectors
- blazar studies in the time domain: correlations between light curves in different bands
- unified schemes at low fluxes/powers: blazar/radio-galaxy transition
All of the above are truly multi-wavelength and multi-messenger studies, which will use radio, WMAP, Planck, Sloan, XMM, SWIFT, Chandra, Rosat, NuSTAR, Fermi, (and more) catalogues and data. We have just secured ESO FORS2 time to find more neutrino sources and further follow-up with ESO telescope will also be needed. The thesis will be tailored to the student's preference and skills.
Here one can find my recent papers on these topics.