High energy astrophysics is an exciting laboratory of fundamental physics. Exotic and transient astrophysical phenomena reveal the violent and capricious nature of the Universe. Wide-field and all-sky monitoring has already led to a wealth of discoveries such as pulsars and gamma-ray bursts which probe extreme realms of physics and yet were not anticipated prior to their discovery. While huge progresses have been made in recent years, our understanding remains incomplete.
The goal of this conference is to present and discuss our current understandings of high energy transients, in particular:
Each session will consist of invited and contributed talks. In addition, time for discussion will be allocated at the end of each session.
|Matteo Cantiello - Flatiron Institute|
|The Uncertain Evolution of Core Collapse Supernova Progenitors
I will review the current status of our understanding of massive stars evolution, emphasizing both recent progress and areas where we still lack a physical picture of the dominating processes at work. I will discuss possible ways to move forward, stressing the emerging synergies between theoretical and computational efforts, and the new observational probes.
|Selma de Mink - University of Amsterdam|
|GW: source populations and formation
Aside from constraints on general relativity, gravitational wave detections are providing us a truly unique new astrophysical insight in the end points of the lives of massive stars. The recent direct detections of gravitational waves by LIGO originated from stellar mass black holes, rather than neutron stars, contrary to what was generally anticipated. Moreover, these some of these black holes are substantially heavier than those that were known previously from X-ray detections.
|Ryan Foley - University of California, Santa Cruz|
|The Diversity of thermonuclear transients|
|Wen-fai Fong - University of Arizona|
|Short gamma-ray bursts|
|Maria Magdalena González - UNAM|
|HAWC: recent results
The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory is a wide field-of-view TeV instrument. It has been operating since March 2015 from the Volcano Sierra Negra in the State of Puebla, Mexico, at an altitude of 4100 m. above sea level. HAWC operates continuously over a 95% of the time and observes two thirds of the TeV sky.
|Jonathan Granot - The Open University of Israel|
|Magnetic fields in GRBs
Magnetic fields likely play an important role in most aspects of the GRB phenomena, from the launching and acceleration of the relativistic outflow, through the jet dynamics and stability, to the energy dissipation, particle acceleration and the production of the radiation that we observe. I will review some of the recent progress in our understanding of the role of magnetic fields in GRBs.
|Dafne Guetta - ORT-Braude|
| Neutrinos from astrophysical sources
One of the key goals in high energy astrophysics is to understand the formation and the dynamics of astrophysical jets and discover the sources of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECR). Cosmic Rays are extremely high energy charged particles that travel the universe at nearly the speed of light. Though they were discovered nearly a century ago, the research community is still puzzled by the origin of these high energy particles. Since neutrinos rarely interact, huge detectors covering an area of more than 1 km2 are required to make a statistically significant measurement. The South Pole in Antarctica is the host of IceCube, the first 1 km2 scale high energy neutrino detector that was completed in 2011. In this talk I will review the main mechanisms that may lead to the production of High Energy Neutrinos (TeV-PeV) from astrophysical sources. I will give an overview on the characteristic of these emissions and an estimate of the fluxes and rates that can be detected at the future and present neutrino telescopes. I will discuss the constraints given on these sources from the results of IceCube and future ultra high energy telescope ARA.
|James Guillochon - Harvard University|
|Models of tidal disruption events|
|Alexander Heger - Monash University|
|Stripped Core-collapse Supernovae
It is the current paradigm that massive stars - if single, if of not too high initial mass, initial metallicity, or initial rotation - are expected to keep their hydrogen-rich outer layers until their death and the typical Type II supernovae - in their different varieties - results as the star dies. That is a lot of "if"s. In practise, as you may guess, some, if not several, of these conditions may be violated for many stars. It now known that most massive stars live in "close" binaries, close enough to interact in their lifetime, transfer mass and angular momentum, or even lose the envelope due to interaction with the companion stars, e.g., in a common envelope phase. We also know that stellar rotation leads to mixing; for very rapid rotation the star may evolve chemically homogeneous during hydrogen burning, with significant mixing possibly lasting until helium burning - significantly shrinking or even entirely removing the hydrogen envelope. Lastly, massive stars also blow winds from their surface, more fiercely the more massive, more metal-rich, or more luminous the star is. All of this leads to a different set of supernovae classes: stripped supernovae. These may range from objects just above the critical mass for core collapse all the way to very massive stars exploding as pair instability supernovae or making intermediate-mass black holes; stripped stars are also prime candidates for long-duration gamma-ray bursts as they are can be more compact than stars with hydrogen envelope. In this talk I will attempt to give an overview of core collapse supernovae that have lost the hydrogen-rich envelope, with focus on the progenitors and their evolution.
|Grzegorz Kowal - Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul|
|Particle acceleration mechanisms
The first observations of high-energy radiation, commonly known as cosmic rays, took place over one hundred years ago. Soon after the discovery of cosmic rays, Victor Hess in 1912 confirmed with his observations, that they are mostly of galactic or extra-galactic origin. Their origin and nature, however, still puzzles the modern astrophysics and is considered one of the unresolved problems. In the first part of my talk I will briefly describe what we know about the properties of cosmic rays from observations and discuss the physical mechanisms, such as diffusive shock acceleration and turbulence, believed to be responsible for accelerating thermal particles to high energies. Finally, in the last part I will present the results of our studies on first-order Fermi acceleration by fast turbulent reconnection.
|Pawan Kumar - University Texas, Austin|
|Relativistic jets in high energy transients|
|Andrew Levan - University of Warwick|
| Long duration Gamma-ray bursts
It is now 50 years since the discovery of the first gamma-ray burst (GRB) and 20 years since the identification of the first multi wavelength afterglow. While these decades of intensive study have unveiled the answers to many questions about the origins of GRBs, new observations have continued to provide surprises, and suggest new questions and directions. I will review progress in studies of the progenitors of long duration GRBs, and highlights of their use as cosmological probes. I will also outline the central questions relating to long GRBs today, including the nature of their central engines, their role as multi-messenger probes, and their use as lighthouses into the era of the first stars.
|Raffaella Margutti - Northwestern University|
|Nergis Mavalvala - MIT|
|Paolo Mazzali - Liverpool University|
|Super luminous Supernovae|
|Rosalba Perna - University of Stony Brook|
| Electromagnetic counterparts of compact object binary mergers
Mergers of two compact objects in a binary, in addition to being sources of gravitational waves, may also be accompanied by strong electromagnetic radiation. I will discuss the expectations for double neutron star and neutron star-black hole mergers, and the evidence that they may be associated with short Gamma-Ray Burts. I will then speculate on the novel possibility that electromagnetic signatures may be produced also in the merger of two black holes.
|Emily Petroff - ASTRON|
|Fast Radio Bursts: Recent Discoveries and Future Prospects
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are quickly becoming a subject of intense interest in time-domain astronomy. FRBs have the exciting potential to be used as cosmological probes of both matter and fundamental parameters, but such studies require large populations. Advances in FRB detection using current and next-generation radio telescopes will enable the growth of the population in the next few years. Real-time discovery of FRBs is now possible with a significant number of FRBs now detected in real-time. I will discuss the developing strategies for maximising real-time science with FRBs as well as the properties of the growing FRB population. I will also discuss upcoming efforts to detect FRBs across the radio spectrum using a wide range of new and refurbished radio telescopes around the world and how these discoveries can inform next generation surveys and pave the way for the enormous number of FRB discoveries expected in the SKA era.
|Anthony Piro - Carnegie Observatory|
|Models of fast radio bursts
Fast radio bursts are one of the fastest growing areas of study in astrophysics during the last few years. The huge rate of events and their potential for probing the Universe has excited the community. Nevertheless, their mysterious origin remains elusive, which has ignited imaginations and lead to a wide range of theoretical explanations. In my talk, I will summarize many of the leading theories for fast radio bursts, highlight their implications for our understanding of the Universe, and discuss the corresponding observational constraints. This will hopefully inform future fast radio burst surveys and followup, as well as spark new discussions for theoretical models.
|Stephan Rosswog - Stockholm University|
|Multi-Messenger signals from gravitational wave sources|
|Alexander Tchekhovskoy - University of California, Berkeley|
|The role of accretion disks in transient sources|
|Miguel Alcubierre - UNAM|
|Edo Berger - Harvard University|
|Fabio De Colle (co-chair) - UNAM|
|Elisabete de Gouveia Dal Pino - Universidade de São Paolo|
|Gabriela Gonzalez - Lousiana State University|
|Vicky Kalogera - Northwestern University|
|Andrew King - Leicester University|
|Davide Lazzati - Oregon State University|
|William Lee - UNAM|
|Diego López Cámara (co-chair) - UNAM|
|Elena Pian - INAF-Bologna, SNS|
|Enrico Ramírez Ruiz - University of California, Santa Cruz|
|Rosa Becerra - UNAM|
|Fabio De Colle (co-chair) - UNAM|
|Diego López Cámara (co-chair) - UNAM|
|Enrique Moreno Méndez - UNAM|
|Abstract submission deadline||July 31|
|Preliminary program||Mid August|
|Registration fee payment deadline||September 30|
|Hotel reservation deadline (at a special price)||October 25|
The conference will be held at the all-inclusive resort Iberostar Quetzal, in Playa del Carmen, on the Mayan Riviera, Mexico.
The hotel offers special rates for conference participants: 2,335 Mexican pesos per day (about US$125-130 depending on the Mexican Peso/US Dollar daily exchange rate) for a single room and 1,681 Mexican pesos per day per person (about US$90-95) for a double room. A webpage to book the hotel at the special price will be available at the beginning of September. This offer will remain valid until the 25th of October (subject to availability). We recommend to reserve as early as possible because December is high season in the Mayan Riviera.
The hotel is located in Playacar, 60 km from the Cancún International Airport (about 50 minutes by car/bus) and 3 km from the center of Playa del Carmen (10 minutes by taxi/ 45 minutes walking).
The Cancún International Airport has a large number of direct flights from Europe, USA and Latin America. Low cost companies connect Playa del Carmen with main destinations in Mexico, including Mexico City.
There are several ways to go from the airport to Playa del Carmen. From the most expensive to the cheapest:
The Mayan Riviera beaches are among the most beautiful in the world. In addition to idyllic beaches, the Yucatan peninsula hosted the Maya civilization, with its many archaeological sites, including Chichen Itzá, with the first astronomical observatory in the continent (built in 906 A.D.), Cobá and Tulum, a pre-Columbian Mayan walled city serving as a major port for Cobá.
The Yucatan peninsula is also famous for the peculiar "cenotes" (sinkholes), underground lakes (connected by rivers flowing underground) resulting from the collapse of the surrounding rock.
Playa del Carmen is one of the main touristic destination of the Mayan Riviera. The 1.5 km long "5a Avenida" is the main touristic street in Playa del Carmen and offers a dynamic nightlife (with restaurants, bars, night-clubs) and shops selling different types of Mexican art-crafts.
Winter is the most enjoyable season in Playa del Carmen. Temperatures are between 18 and 28 degree Celsius (64-83 Farenheit) and rain is not frequent: 7 days a month on average (hurricane season ends in November). The water of the Caribean sea mantains a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius (about 80 Farenheit). Do not forget your swimming suit and sunscreen!
Citizens from most countries do not require a visa to enter in Mexico. A list of countries for which a visa is required is available here (official webpage, in Spanish) or here (in English). Contact the LOC for assistance in case you need a VISA.
The registration fee is 300 USD (200 USD for students) and covers coffee breaks, printed agenda, conference dinner and conference operational costs.