The most powerful persistent accelerators in the Universe are jetted active galaxies. Blazars, galaxies whose jets are directed towards Earth, dominate the extragalactic γ-ray sky. Still, most of the highest-energy particle accelerators probably elude detection. These extreme blazars, whose radiated energy can peak beyond 10 TeV, are ideal targets to study particle acceleration and radiative processes, and may provide links to cosmic rays and astrophysical neutrinos. The growing number of extreme blazars observed at teraelectronvolt energies has been critical for the emergence of γ-ray cosmology, including measurements of the extragalactic background light, tight bounds on the intergalactic magnetic field, and constraints on exotic physics at energies inaccessible with human-made accelerators. Tremendous progress has been achieved over the past decade, which bodes well for the future, particularly with the deployment of the Cherenkov Telescope Array.
- Pub Date:
- February 2020
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- 8 pages, 4 figures, 1 table. Accepted version (posted 6 months after publication)