Thesis Topic: Multi-wavelength and multi-messenger studies of blazars


Thesis Supervisor: Paolo Padovani




Blazars are a class of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) characterized by the fact that their non-thermal, strongly anisotropic emission is believed to be coming from material moving at relativistic speed pointing in our direction. Once considered rare sources, blazars are now being detected in increasingly large numbers at mm and gamma-ray energies by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), the Planck, and Fermi satellites. Faint blazars are also being detected as serendipitous sources in SWIFT-XRT (X-ray) images and the recently released WISE (near-IR) data is turning out to be extremely interesting for blazar studies as well.

Studies of blazars allow astronomers to touch upon a variety of topics, including the disk - jet relationship in AGN, jet physics, AGN feedback, radio source evolution, neutrino astronomy, etc.. In collaboration with Paolo Giommi, who is the director of the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC) located at ESRIN, in Frascati, Italy, and is heavily involved with the SWIFT, Planck, NuSTAR and Fermi missions, I am proposing a range of thesis topics, including:

  • optical identification and confirmation of blazar candidates selected from the WISE survey
  • characterization of very high energy emitting blazars
  • blazar studies in the time domain: correlations between light curves in different bands
  • neutrino astronomy
  • unified schemes at low fluxes/powers: blazar/radio-galaxy transition
  • All of the above are truly multi-wavelength studies, which will use radio, WMAP, Planck, Sloan, XMM, SWIFT, NuSTAR, Rosat, Fermi, (and more) catalogues and data. Follow-up with ESO telescope will also be needed. The thesis can be tailored to the student's preference and skills.

    Here one can find my recent papers on these topics.

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