Thesis Topic: Multi-wavelength and multi-messenger studies of blazars
Thesis Supervisor: Paolo Padovani
Blazars are a class of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) characterized by the fact that their non-thermal, strongly anisotropic emission is believed to be 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.
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 Italian Space Agency (ASI) 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. Follow-up with ESO telescope will also likely be needed. The thesis can be tailored to the student's preference and skills.
The recent association of a high-energy IceCube neutrino with the blazar TXS 0506+056 (see the press release) makes this topic particularly “hot”.
Here one can find my recent papers on these topics.