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MSRAL 2006 Convention

April Regular Meeting at SLAS

April 20, 2007

X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Observations of Gamma–Ray Bursts


Dr. Henric Krawczynski

Gamma-ray bursts are cosmic flashes of X-rays and gamma rays, which are even more energetic than X-rays. Short duration bursts are generated by merging super-dense stellar cinders called neutron stars. Longer duration bursts are caused by the explosion of very massive stars. Dr. Krawczynski will explain how these bursts are detected, what bursts have been discovered recently, and what we can learn from them about some of the most exotic objects and violent events in the universe.
            Henric Krawczynski is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Washington University. He studies the astrophysics of supermassive black holes found at the centers of galaxies. Some of these black holes power the twin beams of highly accelerated particles that reveal quasars at the fringes of the observable universe. He is also one of a team of scientists who design, build, and use giant ground-based telescopes and orbiting spacecraft to study X-ray and gamma ray objects.


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