Feb 07, 2020

International research team succeeds for the first time in detecting very-high energy gamma rays from the gamma-ray burst afterglow



An international joint research project team using the high energy stereoscopic system (H.E.S.S.), successfully detected a very-high energy gamma component from the burst afterglow of gamma rays for the first time in the world. After a 10-year endeavor often marked by difficulties, Rikkyo University’s College of Science and Tokyo University’s Kavli Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe have announced the achievement of this great feat. The team included the laboratory of Professor Yasunobu Uchiyama of the Department of Physics at Rikkyo University’s College of Science.

The discovery was made by using the 28-meter-caliber Cherenkov telescope, the world’s largest telescope in the group of H.E.S.S. telescopes in Namibia, southwestern Africa. In particular, it is astonishing to have very-high energy gamma rays be detected sometime after the burst of gamma rays, not at the moment of the explosion.
The article describing the results of the present study was published in the scientific journal Nature on November 21, 2019, under the title, “A new very-high-energy component deep in the gamma-ray burst afterglow.” Researcher Dmitry Khangulyan of the laboratory headed by Uchiyama, made a major contribution to the study as one of corresponding authors, mainly in the interpretation based on a model theory of the observed results.

Rikkyo University’s College of Science, Toshima Ward, Tokyo, is headed by Dean Kazuyuki Edamoto, while the University of Tokyo institute in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture, is headed by Director Hiroshi Ooguri.

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