Energies up to 300 TeV will push CTA beyond the edge of the known electromagnetic spectrum, providing a completely new view of the sky. CTA will transform our understanding of the high-energy universe by seeking to address a wide range of questions in and beyond astrophysics. These questions fall under three major study themes:
Theme 1: Understanding the Origin and Role of Relativistic Cosmic Particles
- What are the sites of high-energy particle acceleration in the Universe?
- What are the mechanisms for cosmic particle accelerations?
- What role do accelerated particles play in feedback on star formation and galaxy evolution?
Theme 2: Probing Extreme Environments
- What physical processes are at work close to neutron stars and black holes?
- What are the characteristics of relativistic jets, winds and explosions?
- How intense are radiation fields and magnetic fields in cosmic voids, and how do these evolve over cosmic time?
Theme 3: Exploring Frontiers in Physics
- What is the nature of dark matter? How is it distributed?
- Are there quantum gravitational affects on photon propagation?
- Do axion-like particles exist?
To learn more about how CTA will address these themes, click on the theme links above or continue reading below.