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High Energy Astrophysics Group

Institute of Astronomy, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

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Research activities of the High Energy Astrophysics Group at IoA/NTHU include high energy astrophysics related instrumentations, observations, and theoretical investigation.

Current on-going projects are described briefly in the following :

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Our Group is located at the 7th floor of the Physics Building in NTHU CampusThe Nuclear Compton Telescope (NCT) Project
The NCT project is a joint effort of several institutions in Taiwan and in US. The NCT is a balloon-borne telescope designed to study astrophysical sources of MeV gamma-ray emission with high spectral resolution, moderate angular resolution, and novel sensitivity to gamma-ray polarization. The heart of NCT is an array of novel cross-strip germanium detectors, each of 15-mm thickness and 5400 mm^2 active area, with full 3D position resolution better than 2 mm^3. NCT will perform Compton imaging in the 0.2-10 MeV gamma-ray band. We are currently planning a 12-detector long duration balloon flight of the NCT instrument from Australia in December 2008. Major scientific topics of this project include the galactic 511-keV line emission, origin of Al-26, and polarization of gamma-ray emission from pulsars, etc.

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X-ray Occultation of Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs)
We have discovered, for the first time in astronomy, X-ray occultation events caused by TNOs. These events were found in the RXTE/PCA X-ray light curve of Sco X-1 at millisecond time scales. It opens up a new window for TNO surveys, particularly for the smallest, most abundant TNOs. The implication to the distribution of TNOs is being studied. It also provides a possible way of resolving the X-ray emitting region in compact stars with the technique of X-ray occultation.
 

Isolated Neutron Stars
Isolated neutron stars exhibit themselves in many different ways, like most radio pulsars, gamma-ray pulsars, Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs), Soft Gamma Repeaters (SGRs), and some isolated X-ray sources. Some of them may have extremely strong magnetic fields of 10^15 G, dubbed 'magnetars'. Some of them might be in fact 'quark stars'. Most of them show various kinds of emission mechanisms in their magnetospheres. We study these sources in both theoretical and observational aspects. Recent efforts are mainly on the polarization of gamma-ray emission from pulsars and the newly observed magnetar QPOs.

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Location: Room 710, Phys Bldg            Tel: +886-3-5742953

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