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Focusing supernova gamma rays

Questions for a high sensitivity gamma-ray telescope
  • M. D. Leising
Chapter

Abstract

Despite their great intrinsic interest and extensive use as tools in other areas of astronomy, fundamental questions remain as to the nature of supernovae of all types. The radioactivity produced by nuclear fusion reactions in the explosions provides several excellent diagnostics, observable through gamma-ray emission. This great potential is largely unrealized because the fluxes from events at common distances are very small. Instrument sensitivity is paramount, and gamma-ray optics offer an excellent possibility for greatly increasing collecting area, without a large increase in background rates, and reaching the required sensitivities. Here we outline some of the major open questions about supernovae and discuss how gamma-ray spectroscopy can address them, including instrument requirements for a future focusing gamma-ray telescope.

Keywords

Supernovae Gamma-rays Radioactivity 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Leising
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics & AstronomyClemson UniversityClemson

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