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Gamma Ray Science Interest Group

Telecon Notes

During our telecon 1 August 2018, we discussed our plans for writing the WPs for the Decadal Survey. While we initially envisioned writing a single science WP to highlight the five important broad science themes that the gamma-ray community identified as priorities, the recent call for the Decadal Survey WPs forces us to revise our approach. The instruction to the WP authors specifies that each WP should "identify a primary thematic science area (and, if relevant, a secondary area)". The eight proposed thematic areas are listed below:

Thematic areas:

  1. Planetary Systems including solar system bodies (other than the Sun), debris disks, and extrasolar planets; exobiology and the search for life beyond the solar system.

  2. Star and Planet formation, formation of stars and clusters, protostellar and protoplanetary disks, planet-disk interactions, molecular clouds and the cold interstellar medium, dust, and astrochemistry.

  3. Stars and Stellar Evolution, including the Sun, stellar astrophysics, the structure and evolution of single and multiple stars, and brown dwarfs. 1 See page xvii in the Preface to New Worlds, New Horizons

  4. Formation and evolution of compact objects, including stellar-mass black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs, supernovae, mergers of compact objects, gamma-ray bursts, accretion, production of heavy elements and other extreme physics on stellar scales.

  5. Resolved stellar populations and their environments, including the structure and properties of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, their stellar populations and evolution, as well as interstellar media and star clusters.

  6. Galaxy Evolution, including the formation, evolution, dynamics, and properties of supermassive black holes, galaxies, and galaxy clusters, active galactic nuclei and QSOs, mergers, star formation rates, gas accretion, and the circumgalactic and intergalactic media.

  7. Cosmology and Fundamental Physics, including the early universe, the cosmic microwave background, reionization and galaxy formation up to the virialization of protogalaxies, large scale structure, the intergalactic medium, determination of cosmological parameters, dark matter and dark energy, astroparticle physics, tests of gravity, and astronomically determined physical constants.

  8. Multi-Messenger Astronomy and Astrophysics, including the sources of gravitational waves, astrophysical and cosmogenic neutrinos, cosmic rays and gamma rays, and the coordinated multi-messenger and multiwavelength follow-ups
  9. .

In order to increase the visibility and impact of the gamma-ray community in the various panels of the decadal survey, it seems wiser to write five separate WPs focusing on the relevant thematics areas:

The five WPs will cross-reference each other and the overview WP will be the one on multi-messengers.

The workshop on "radionuclide astronomy" organized in Los Alamos on August 20-22 2018 should lead to a WP that GammaSIG would certainly like to sign, and it may become the GammaSIG WP on "How are the elements created?"

The role of GammaSIG is to support the activities of the gamma-ray community as a whole. The WPs produced by GammaSIG will reference the individual/team WP contributions.

The decadal survey call clearly states the importance of the international context (similar, common and complementary efforts from other international agencies) and encourage collaborative effort in writing WPs.

The submission window for the WPs is from January 7 to January 18 2018. We anticipate a deadline for the GammaSIG WPs at the end of November 2018. The WP format is indicated below:

  • White papers may not be more than 5 pages in length, including all figures, tables, and appendices. References and the author list do not count against the page limit and can include web links to other documents.

  • A cover page should be included (beyond the 5-page limit) that should include the title of the white paper, the thematic science area(s), and a list of authors plus contact information for the lead author.

  • A template will be made available.

We are looking for leads for the various WPs. Two leads per paper would be ideal. Please, let us know if you are interested by emailing Bindu Rani (binduphysics@gmail.com), Justin Finke (justin.finke@nrl.navy.mil), and Eric Burns (erickayserburns@gmail.com).

We are thinking of organizing follow-up GammaSIG workshops during the Fall. Two possible options are:

  • Monday, October 1, 2018, before the Swift Meeting in Clemson (hosted by Dieter Hartmann at the Clemson University)

  • Saturday, October 20, 2018, right after the Fermi Symposium in Baltimore (hosted by Richard Miller at the John Hopkins University)

We would like to get your opinion about the choice of the strategy that we propose for approaching the Decadal Survey. We are also looking for leads for writing the GammaSIG White Papers (WPs); obviously, all contributors are welcome and strongly encouraged to participate in the WP writing effort. Finally, we would like to know your availabilities for possible GammaSIG workshops in the Fall.

Here are two polls (deadline August 31st, 20180):

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