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Second cycle
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School of Science
Course unit
SCP7081762, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC2382, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2018/19
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Degree course track PHYSICS OF THE UNIVERSE [003PD]
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination MULTIMESSENGER ASTROPHYSICS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ELISA BERNARDINI FIS/01

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines FIS/01 Experimental Physics 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
BARTOLO NICOLA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: This course is aimed at students
with a basic understanding of particle and
nuclear physics
Target skills and knowledge: This course is an introduction to “multi-messenger” astrophysics, from a mostly experimental perspective. It covers different aspects connecting particle physics with astrophysics and cosmology. Numerous experimental findings recently obtained through the study of high-energy particles will be illustrated.

Topics include:
* the dark Universe
* particle interactions in matter
* cosmic rays and their interactions
* cosmic rays measurements
* particles and radiation in the cosmos
* Dark Matter
* neutrino masses and oscillations.
Examination methods: Oral examination.
Course unit contents: The term "multi-messenger" is quite new and increasingly used in astronomy and astroparticle physics. It refers to the combination of various techniques at different photon wavelengths and with different 'messengers', to get a deep understanding of the astrophysical objects we observe in the sky.

Visible light only reveals a very small portion of the mysteries of the Universe. Astronomical observations are nowadays routinely performed with different telescopes across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves through visible light, all the way to gamma-rays. At the highest energies, the most violent processes in the Universe are at work.
Whatever produces high energy gamma-rays, is expected to accelerate particles to energies that exceed the capabilities of man-made accelerators a billion times. Such particles can reach the Earth as cosmic rays, first discovered more than 10 years ago, still nowadays one of the most misterious "messages" from our Universe. Cosmic rays may interact in the vicinity or their sources or even along their way to Earth, to produce elusive particles called neutrinos. Neutrinos are extremely difficult to detect, but the year 2013 has seen the first clear observation of neutrinos from distant astrophysical objects by the IceCube detector at the South Pole, opening a new observational window to the Universe. Finally, most known sources of gamma-rays (and likely cosmic-rays and neutrinos) are associated with black holes or neutron stars. Whenver two such compact objects orbit around each other they are expected to produce gravitational waves. Most recently, in 2015, gravitational waves were first onserved by the LIGO detectors in the USA from the merger of two black holes.
The Nobel-prize winning direct detection of gravitational waves opened another window through which astronomers can observe the violent Universe.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Frontal lectures and exercises.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Bergstrom, Lars; Goobar, Ariel, Cosmology and particle astrophysicsLars Bergstrom, Ariel Goobar. Berlin [etc.]: Springer, 2004. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Grupen, Claus; Eidelman, Simon; Cowan, Glen; Stroh, Tilo, Astroparticle physicsClaus Grupenwith contributions from Glen Cowan, Simon Eidelman and Tito Stroh. Berlin: Springer, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Aharonian, Felix; Dermer, Charles D., Astrophysics at very high energiesFelix Aharonian, Lars Bergstrom, Charles Dermer. Heidelberg [etc.]: Springer, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Spurio, Maurizio, Particles and astrophysicsa multi-messenger approachMaurizio Spurio. Cham [etc.]: Springer, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo
  • De_Angelis, Alessandro; Pimenta, Mário João Martins, Introduction to particle and astroparticle physics Multimessenger Astronomy and its Particle Physics Foundations. Milan [etc.]: Springer, 2018. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Perkins, Donald H., Particle astrophysicsD.H. Perkins. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Cerca nel catalogo