High energy gamma-ray photons are the prime probes of the relativistic or high-energy universe, populated by black holes, neutron stars, supernovae, quasars, and matter-antimatter annihilations. Through studying the gamma-ray sky, astrophysicists are able to better understand the formation and behavior of these exotic and energetic bodies.
Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy summarizes the status of gamma-ray astronomy at energies between 30MeV and 50TeV at a critical point in the development of the discipline: the hiatus between the demise of the EGRET telescope and the launch of the next generation of space telescopes. Starting with an overview of the astrophysics of the bodies that generate high energy gamma rays, it proceeds to discuss the latest developments in observational techniques and equipment.
By presenting the techniques, observations, and theories of this expanding frontier, Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy aids experimentalists and theoreticians in detecting and explaining gamma rays of the highest energies.
Table of Contents
Foundations of Gamma Ray Astronomy
Very High Energy Gamma Ray Detectors
High Energy Gamma Ray Telescopes in Space
Supernova and Supernova Remnants
Gamma-ray Observations of the Crab Nebula
Gamma-ray Observations of SNR
Gamma-Ray Pulsars and Binaries
Active Galactic Nuclei: Observations
Active Galactic Nuclei: Models
Gamma Ray Bursts
Diffuse Background Radiation
"Weekes is the foremost pioneer in the atmospheric Cerenkov experimental discipline. For his seminal contribution, Weekes was awarded the 1997 Bruno Rossi Prize, the American Astronomical Society's highest honor in high-energy astrophysics. It is fitting that, through his book, Weekes provides the most comprehensive exposition to date on high-energy gamma-ray astronomy. Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy is written at the graduate or, perhaps, senior-undergraduate level. It is also a useful text for experimentalists, observers, and theorists. Because it is not heavily imbued with mathematical developments, the text is extremely digestable and accessible to an audience much broader than just high-energy astronomy specialists. It is a pleasure to read. The emerging scientist can benefit much from Weekes's knowledge of a young field now reaping the fruits of his and others' labors. Weekes's work is complementary in style, content, and perspective to extant gamma-ray astronomy texts, such as those by Carl Fichtel, Jacob Trombka, Floyd Stecker, and Volker Schonfelder. Coming from the father of TeV gamma-ray astronomy, Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy will prove a worthy addition to such company."
- Matthew Baring, Physics Today, September 2004