NBIA Colloquium – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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NBIA Colloquium

Title: "Gamma-Ray Bursts: Cosmic nano-physics at work"

Abstract: Shall humans have gamma-ray-sensitive eyes, they would see nothing except short bright flashed in the sky at a rate of about one per day. These are the so-called Gamma-Ray Bursts, or GRBs, whose origin is still debated. We know now, however, that these are, by far, the brightest events in the Universe: energetically, they outshine the entire Universe but only for their duration of a few tens of seconds. Typical GRBs are very far from us; they shine on the other side of the Universe, so we cannot directly image them. Yet, the situation isn't hopeless. In this talk I will describe what we have learned about GRBs and, especially, how they emit the observed radiation -- a very intriguing question with a rather counter-intuitive answer.