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      Volume 39, Issue 4

      August 2018

    • Calculation of the transport coefficients of the nuclear pasta phase


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      We calculate the transport coefficients of low-density nuclear matter, especially the nuclear pasta phase, using quantum molecular dynamics simulations. The shear viscosity as well as the thermal and electricalconductivities are determined by calculating the static structure factor of protons for all relevant density, temperature and proton fractions, using simulation data. It is found that all the transport coefficients have similar orders of magnitude as found earlier without considering the pasta phase. Our results are thus in contrast to the common belief that the pasta layer is highly resistive and therefore have important astrophysical consequences.

    • Entering the cosmic ray precision era


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      Here we outline some recent activities in the theory and phenomenology of Galactic cosmic rays, in the light of the great precision of direct cosmic ray measurements reached in the last decade. In the energy domain of interest, ranging from a few GeV/nucleon to tens of TeV/nucleon, data have revealed some novel features requiring an explanation.We shall emphasize the importance of a more refined modeling, of achieving a better assessment of theoretical uncertainties associated to the models, and of testing key predictions specific of different models against the rich datasets available nowadays. Despite the still shaky theoretical situation, several hints have accumulated suggesting the need to go beyond the approximation of a homogeneous and non-dynamical diffusion coefficient in the Galaxy.

    • Neutron stars and the equation of state


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      The interior of neutron stars consists of the densest, although relatively cold, matter known in the universe. Here, baryon number densities might reach values close to ten times the nuclear saturation density. These suggest that the constituents of neutron star cores not only consist of nucleons, but also of more exotic baryons like hyperons or a phase of deconfined quarks.We discuss the consequences of such exotic particles on the gross properties and phenomenology of neutron stars. In addition, we determine the general phase structure of dense and also hot matter in the chiral parity-doublet model and confront model results with the recent constraints derived from the neutron star merger observation.

    • VHE gamma ray astronomy with HAGAR telescope array


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      HAGAR, an array of seven atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes located at Hanle in Himalayas, has been observing VHE gamma ray sources since September 2008. Taking advantage of the high altitude location, HAGAR could achieve an energy threshold of about 200 GeV. Several astronomical sources, mostly pulsars and blazar class active galactic nuclei, have been observed in the last nine years. Pulsations from Crab pulsar and emission from blazars Mkn 421 and Mkn 501 has been detected successfully. Details of HAGAR telescopearray will be given and some important results will be discussed. Also the future plans will be described briefly.

    • Editorial

      Debades Bandyopadhyay Pratik Majumdar

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    • Neutron star mergers in the context of the hadron–quark phase transition


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      The long awaited event of the detection of a gravitational wave from a binary neutron star merger and its electromagnetic counterparts marked the beginning of a newera in observational astrophysics. The brandnew field of gravitational wave astronomy combined with multi-messenger observations will uncover violent, highly energetic astrophysical events that could not be explored before by humankind. This article focuses on the presumable appearance of a hadron–quark phase transition and the formation of regions of deconfined quark matter in the interior of a neutron star merger product. The evolution of density and temperature profiles inside the inner region of the produced hypermassive/ supramassive neutron star advises an incorporation of a hadron–quark phase transition in the equation of state of neutron star matter. The highly densed and hot neutron star matter of the remnant populate regions in the QCD phase diagram where a non neglectable amount of deconfined quark matter is expected to be present. If a strong hadron–quark phase transition would happenduring the post-merger phase, it will be imprinted in the spectral properties of the emitted gravitational wave signal and might give an additional contribution to the dynamically emitted outflow of mass.

    • $\sigma_8$ Discrepancy and its solutions


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      In the recent past, measurements of $\sigma_8$ from large scale structure observations have shown some discordance with its value obtained from Planck CMB within the $\Lambda$CDM frame. This discordance naturally leads to a mismatch in the value of $H_0$ also. Under the presumption that these discordances are not due to systematics, several attempts have been made to ameliorate the tensions. In this article, we describe the methods of determination of σ8 from large scale as well as CMB observations.We discuss that these discrepancies vanish if we consider the energy momentum tensor for an imperfect fluid which could arise due to self-interaction of dark matter or in an effective description of large scale structure.We demonstrate how the presence of viscosities in cold dark fluid on large scales ameliorate the problem elegantly than other solutions. We also estimate the neutrino mass in the viscous cosmological setup.

    • Prospects of detecting fast radio bursts using Indian radio telescopes


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      Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are short duration highly energetic dispersed radio pulses.We developed a generic formalism (Bera et al. 2016, MNRAS, 457, 2530) to estimate the FRB detection rate for any radiotelescope with given parameters. By using this model, we estimated the FRB detection rate for two Indian radio telescope; the Ooty Wide Field Array (OWFA) (Bhattacharyya et al. 2017, J. Astrophys. Astr., 38, 17)and the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT) (Bhattacharyya et al. 2018, J. Astrophys. Astr.) with three beam-forming modes. Here, we summarize these two works.We considered the energy spectrum ofFRBs as a power law and the energy distribution of FRBs as a Dirac delta function and a Schechter luminosity function.We also considered two scattering models proposed by Bhat et al. (2004, Astrophys. J. Suppl. Series,206, 1) and Macquart & Koay (2013, ApJ, 776, 125) for these works and we consider FRB pulse without scattering as a special case. We found that the future prospects of detecting FRBs by using these two Indian radio telescopes is good. They are capable to detect a significant number of FRBs per day. According to our prediction, we can detect $\sim$10$^5$−10$^8$, $\sim$10$^3$−10$^6$ and $\sim$10$^5$−10$^7$ FRBs per day by using OWFA, commensal systems of GMRT and uGMRT respectively. Even a non detection of the predicted events will be very useful in constraining FRB properties.

    • The many faces of pulsars – the case of PSR B0833-45

      B. RUDAK

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      A review of observational properties of the Vela pulsar across a wide energy spectrum is given. Then current approaches to the modelling of pulsars and their wind zones are briefly presented. The challenges posed to the models by the diversity of Vela’s light curves in different energy ranges are discussed.

    • Supernova neutrinos: Flavor conversion independent of their mass


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      In extremely dense neutrino environments like in supernova core, the neutrino-neutrino refraction may give rise to self-induced flavor conversion. These neutrino flavor oscillations are well understood from the idea of the exponentially growing modes of the interacting oscillators in the flavor space. Until recently, the growth rates of these modes were found to be of the order of the vacuum oscillation frequency $\Delta m^2/2E$ $[O(1 {\rm km}^{−1})]$ and were considered slow growing. However, in the last couple of years it was found that if the system was allowed to have different zenith-angle distributions for the emitted $\nu_e$ and $\bar{\nu}_e$ beams then the fastest growing modes of the interacting oscillators grew at the order of $\mu =\sqrt{2G_{\rm F}n_ν}$ , a typical $\nu–\nu$ interaction energy $[O(10^5 {\rm km}^{−1})]$. Thus the growth rates are very large in comparison to the so-called ‘slow oscillations’ and canresult in neutrino flavor conversion on a much faster scale. In fact, the point that the growth rates are no longer dependent on the vacuum oscillation frequency $\Delta m^2/2E$, makes these ‘fast flavor conversions’ independentof $\Delta m^2$ (thus mass) and energy. This is a surprising result as neutrino flavor conversions are considered to be the ultimate proof of massive neutrinos. However, the importance of this effect in the realistic astrophysical scenarios still remains to be understood.

    • Lightning black holes as unidentified TeV sources


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      Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes have revealed more than 100 TeV sources along the galactic plane, around 45% of them remain unidentified. However, radio observations revealed that dense molecular clumps are associated with 67% of 18 unidentified TeV sources. In this paper, we propose that an electron–positron magnetospheric accelerator emits detectable TeV gamma-rays when a rapidly rotating black hole enters a gaseous cloud. Since the general-relativistic effect plays an essential role in this magnetosphericlepton accelerator scenario, the emissions take place in the direct vicinity of the event horizon, resulting in a point-like gamma-ray image.We demonstrate that their gamma-ray spectra have two peaks around 0.1 GeV and 0.1 TeV and that the accelerators become most luminous when the mass accretion rate becomes about 0.01% of the Eddington accretion rate. We compare the results with alternative scenarios such as the cosmic-ray hadron scenario, which predicts an extended morphology of the gamma-ray image with a single power-law photonspectrum from GeV to 100 TeV.

    • Precision pulsar timing with the ORT and the GMRT and its applications in pulsar astrophysics


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      Radio pulsars show remarkable clock-like stability, which make them useful astronomy tools in experiments to test equation of state of neutron stars and detecting gravitational waves using pulsar timing techniques. A brief review of relevant astrophysical experiments is provided in this paper highlighting thecurrent state-of-the-art of these experiments. A program to monitor frequently glitching pulsars with Indian radio telescopes using high cadence observations is presented, with illustrations of glitches detected in this program, including the largest ever glitch in PSR B0531 $+$ 21. An Indian initiative to discover sub-$\mu$Hz gravitational waves, called Indian Pulsar Timing Array (InPTA), is also described briefly, where time-of-arrival uncertainties and post-fit residuals of the order of $\mu$s are already achievable, comparable to other international pulsar timing array experiments. While timing the glitches and their recoveries are likely to provide constraints on the structure of neutron stars, InPTA will provide upper limits on sub-$\mu$Hz gravitational waves apart from auxiliary pulsarscience. Future directions for these experiments are outlined.

    • AGN at very high energies: Cosmic accelerators and probes of space-time


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      During the last decade, very high energy astrophysics emerged as a new branch of astronomy with major discoveries achieved by the present ground-based gamma-ray Cherenkov telescopes. The sample of cosmic sources firmly detected at very high energy (VHE) now exceeds two hundred objects, includingactive galactic nuclei (AGN), pulsar wind nebulae, and several other types of sources of which a significant number are unidentified ones. The scientific return from recent VHE data is particularly interesting for AGN science, shedding new light on particle acceleration and emission processes around supermassiveblack holes, and probing the intergalactic space by the analysis of VHE photons propagating from bright remote sources to the Earth. The perspectives of this research field are promising with new generation VHE instruments such as CTA, a project of open observatory at extreme energies at the horizon 2023,allowing a deep analysis of the sky in the highest part of the electromagnetic spectrum, from 20 GeV to 300 TeV.

  • Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | News

    • Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on January 27, 2016

      Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.

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