API faculty use our theoretical and observational work to try to piece together fundamental understanding of transients through complex modelling by probing transients using messengers such as :
- time domain astronomy from TeVgamma rays to radio waves
- gravitational waves
- cosmic rays
Transient sources are very often caused by highly energetic types of events that are physically associated with black holes and neutron stars, both as they are born and later as they evolve while interacting with matter around them. As such they are very good signposts towards extreme physical and astrophysical phenomena in the Universe.
API researchers played a leading role in the discovery and early characterization of two new types of transient phenomena :
1) the detection of gravitational waves by LIGO/Virgo, and the observational effort to detect their driving sources (the 'electromagnetic counterpart'), heralding the 'dawn of multi-messenger astronomy'.
2) fast radio bursts, whose nature remains mysterious
Furthermore, advances were made in :
- the study of cosmic radiation and supernova remnants
- instrumentation development for the HESS telescope
- time-domain studies in the so-far little explored UV domain
LOFAR and AARTFAAC are now coming into their own as discovery machines for rare and/or peculiar transients.
Fast radio bursts (FRBs)
Now: Swift, Chandra, XMM-NEWTON, LOFAR, WHT, VLT, LVC, MeerKAT, European VLBI Network (EVN), Apertif, large-scale computing
Future: BlackGEM/MeerLICHT, LOFAR2.0, SKA, E-ELT, ATHENA, CTA, transient survey machines