Astroparticle with gamma rays (14h + 6h tutorials)

Lecturer: Prof. Alessandro De Angelis Teaching assistant and responsible for the tutorials: Dr. Ignasi Reichardt

The gamma-ray sky at high-energy (above the MeV) unveils the nature of fundamental astrophysical phenomena, and opens a window on new physics. The study of high-energy photons is thus at the frontier of and of the new field of fundamental physics called astroparticle physics. This course introduces such an interdisciplinary subject, providing students with the tools needed to understand current problems, read a modern article in the field, and analyze the data from a leading high-energy telescope - which are, as usual for NASA, public.

Learning Outcome

On completion successful students will be able to:

1. Understand the basic physical processes involving high-energy particles and originating the emission of high-energy photons. 2. Know the methods and observing techniques to study high-energy emission. 3. Describe the sky as seen with high-energy detectors. 4. Identify the kinds of astrophysical sources visible at high energies and relate them to relevant emission processes. 5. Have insight into current research in gamma astroparticle physics. 6. Read a scientific article related to gamma astroparticle physics. 7. Analyze the data from the Fermi LAT gamma-ray satellite; extract a spectral energy distribution and a light curve for a generic source.


1. Introduction; high-energy phenomena in the Universe (2h) 2. How to detect high-energy photons (4h) 3. How high-energy photons are produced and how they propagate. Dark matter and high-energy (3h) 4. Acceleration sites (3h) 5. Open problems, and a look to the future (2h) 6. Tutorial: analysis of real Fermi data. Students will learn how to access and analyze public data from the space-borne Fermi Large Area Telescope. They will extract the spectrum and light-curve from a real gamma-ray source, and discuss its properties in terms of the concepts learnt in the theoretical sessions. (6h)


Students should know the basics of quantum and of .


Students will be evaluated based on: i) completion of the practical tutorial and ii) a final short seminar on a modern research topic selected according to their interest.


1. M. Longair, High Energy Astrophysics, Cambridge University Press 2011. 2. A. De Angelis and M. Pimenta, Introduction to particle and astroparticle physics, Springer 2015.