Gamma-ray Astronomy Group

The goal of this research line is to understand the most energetic phenomena in the universe through gamma-ray observations.

The two MAGIC telescopes in the Canary Islands were built and have been operated since 2004 by an international collaboration of about 200 scientists. IFAE played a leading role in the design and construction of the MAGIC telescopes, notably by designing and building the whole camera of MAGIC-I and the MAGIC data center. During 2018-2022, the group has held many leadership positions in MAGIC: Spokesperson (O. Blanch, 2020-2022), Analysis and Publications Coordinator (2020-2022), Data Center Coordinator (since 2017), Deputy Physics Coordinator (2018-2019), Outreach Coordinator (2018-2019). Scientists at IFAE have been main authors of more than 25% of the MAGIC scientific papers, including the papers published in Nature and Science.

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) Consortium aims at building a worldwide facility for ground-based Gamma-Ray Astronomy, with full-sky coverage and a ten-fold higher flux sensitivity and broader energy range compared to MAGIC. In the 2018-2022 period, an IFAE member has been Coordinator of the CTA Analysis and Simulations Working Group (2018-2019). IFAE co-leads the construction of the Large-Sized Telescopes (LSTs), and has provided the electronics and the integration of the cameras for the next three LSTs. IFAE members serve the LST project with top-level responsibilities, such as the Chair of the Steering Committee (Manel Martínez, since 2017), Systems Engineer (2017-2019), Camera Coordinator (2017-2020) and Software Coordinator (since 2017). IFAE members are part of the LST Physics Committee and lead two of the first ten papers currently in preparation.

Since 2020, IFAE participates in the design of HERD, a next-generation cosmic- and gamma-ray detector on board the Chinese Space Station. J. Rico has been appointed as Coordinator of the HERD Gamma-Ray Astronomy group (2021) and responsible for the design and construction of the dedicated trigger system for Gamma-Ray astronomy.