WoU-MMA: High-Energy Multimessenger Particle Astrophysics

Project: Research project

Project Details


Very energetic particles, such as neutrinos, gamma rays, and cosmic rays are seen by detectors on the Earth and in space. This project will develop a unified model of the generation of all of these particles in energetic events such as the destruction of a star passing close to a supermassive black hole, or during supernova explosions. This work may make it possible to use multi-messenger observations of neutrinos and gamma rays to better understand the origin of high energy cosmic rays. The project will also introduce concepts of the research into undergraduate and graduate courses at Penn State, as well as hold a one-day educator workshop aimed at exposing K-12 students to the science of cosmic ray research. This award advances the goals of the Windows on the Universe Big Idea.

The project will develop a code for calculating the production of secondaries from the acceleration and interactions of cosmic ray nuclei. It will then use additional codes to model the propagation of neutrinos and gamma rays from multi zone emission areas in two different types of high-energy events: tidal disruption events and supernovae. The project will make predictions of the expected neutrino and gamma ray signatures of the acceleration of cosmic rays in these two types of events with the intent of developing a multi-messenger astronomy view of these sources. In addition to incorporating the research in courses at Penn State, the project will develop tools to allow teachers to simulate a simple version of the methodology used in this project. Use of these tools will be presented at a workshop for teachers recruited from the rural schools adjacent to Penn State.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/218/31/24


  • National Science Foundation: $592,342.00


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