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1.
Back to the future with emerging iron technologies
Andreea Oarga-Mulec, Uroš Luin, Matjaž Valant, 2024, review article

Abstract: Here is a comprehensive overview of iron's potential in low-carbon energy technologies, exploring applications like metal fuel combustion, iron-based batteries, and energy-carrier cycles, as well as sustainable approaches for production and recycling with a focus on reducing environmental impact. Iron, with its abundance, safety, and electrochemical characteristics, is a promising material to contribute to a decarbonized future. This paper discusses the advancements and challenges in iron-based energy storage technologies and sustainable iron production methods. Various innovative approaches are explored as energy storage solutions based on iron, like advancements in thermochemical Fe–Cl cycles highlight the potential of iron chloride electrochemical cycles for long-term high-capacity energy storage technology. Additionally, the utilization of iron as a circular fuel in industrial processes demonstrates its potential in large-scale thermal energy generation. Sustainable iron production methods, such as electrolysis of iron chloride or oxide and deep eutectic solvent extraction, are investigated to reduce the carbon footprint in the iron and steel industry. These findings also show the importance of policy and technology improvements that are vital for the widespread use and recycling of iron-based tech, stressing the need for collaboration toward a sustainable future.
Keywords: iron's potential, low-carbon energy technologies
Published in RUNG: 02.07.2024; Views: 208; Downloads: 2
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2.
Detection of gamma-ray sources and search for dark matter signals with Cherenkov Telescope Array surveys : dissertation
Veronika Vodeb, 2024, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: Gamma rays serve as important messengers in modern astrophysics, offering insights into the most energetic processes in the cosmos. Advancements in gamma-ray astronomy, facilitated by international scientific collaboration, have expanded its reach and capabilities. The Fermi-Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT) has so far contributed immensely to our understanding of the gamma-ray sky at GeV energies, surveying numerous source classes. At the same time, ground-based observatories like H.E.S.S., MAGIC, VERITAS, HAWC, and LHASSO, enable the exploration of high-energy (HE) phenomena across various energy scales, reaching the PeV range. The collective data from Fermi-LAT and ground-based instruments provide a comprehensive picture of cosmic phenomena across diverse energy regimes. Efforts to catalog HE gamma-ray sources have resulted in the detection of several thousand sources at GeV, including Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNe), Supernova Remnants (SNRs), pulsars, blazars, and Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs), with the observational capability to study their spectral and spatial morphology enhancing our understanding of their origin and evolution. Looking ahead, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) represents the next frontier in ground-based gamma-ray astronomy. Operating at very high energies (VHE) between 20 GeV and 300 TeV, CTA's improved sensitivity, angular resolution, and expanded field of view (FoV) promise enhanced imaging of extended sources and performance of large-scale surveys. CTA's Key Science Projects (KSPs) include the Extragalactic (EGAL) survey, a survey of a quarter of the extragalactic sky, and the Galactic Plane Survey (GPS), a survey of the entire Galactic Plane (GP). The KSPs will receive dedicated observation time and careful planning to ensure the optimization of their scientific output. As CTA is currently entering the construction phase, simulations are being extensively employed to predict its response to various signals, playing a vital role in comprehending CTA's response and sensitivity to different signals. The derived predictions are paving the way for estimating the CTA's scientific output, informing the observational strategy, and ensuring its success in maximizing the contribution to HE gamma-ray astronomy. In this thesis, I contribute to assessing the sensitivity of the CTA surveys, particularly the GPS and the EGAL survey, to diverse astrophysical sources and signals. Focusing on the GPS, I delve into understanding the detectability of pulsar halos, which emit multi-TeV gamma rays, the detection of which was recently reported by the HAWC Observatory. The study involves a spatial-spectral likelihood analysis, evaluating sensitivity to simple Gaussian extended sources and physically modeled sources. Employing a template-fitting approach, I analyze CTA's GPS sensitivity to extended sources and explore the prospects for pulsar halo detection and characterization. A preliminary population study addresses the visibility of pulsar halos to CTA's GPS and explores the angular sensitivity to extended sources. The thesis sets the detectability prospects of pulsar halos with CTA and investigates what fraction of the preliminary pulsar halo population CTA will be able to probe. The thesis extends its exploration into the persistent mystery of dark matter (DM), a fundamental puzzle in cosmology. The search for DM signals remains a vigorous pursuit in the physics community, utilizing various astrophysical messengers resulting from DM particle annihilation or decay. I investigate the potential of CTA's GPS to detect dark sub-halos within our galaxy, utilizing a similar approach as in the sensitivity assessment to pulsar halos, applied to recent sub-halo population simulations. Furthermore, the thesis addresses the intricate task of disentangling DM components from astrophysical contributions in the observed gamma-ray sky. In terms of the EGAL survey, employing advanced statistical methods such as the cross-correlation technique, I explore the prospects of using CTA's EGAL survey to correlate the Extragalactic Gamma-ray Background (EGRB) with galaxy catalogs, providing insights into DM properties. While traditional methods rely on likelihood analysis with background subtraction or template fitting, the emergence of supervised machine learning (ML) offers a novel, potentially more effective approach for cataloging the sky. The thesis touches upon the usability of ML in the high and VHE gamma-ray sky. My study focuses on CTA's GPS and utilizes deep-learning-based algorithms in a detection pipeline for the automatic classification of extended sources from gamma-ray data. As CTA stands at the forefront of gamma-ray astronomy as the next-generation observatory, the research presented in this thesis contributes a small step towards answering the open questions about pulsar halos and DM, showcasing the potential breakthroughs that may emerge from CTA's observations. The detailed likelihood analysis performed aims to advance our understanding of these enigmas, from the physical intricacies of pulsar halos to the elusive nature of DM, driven by curiosity about the continuous exploration of the Universe's mysteries.
Keywords: high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, astroparticle physics, Cherenkov Telescope Array, pulsar halos, dark matter, dissertations
Published in RUNG: 06.06.2024; Views: 360; Downloads: 5
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Anisotropy studies of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays measured at the Pierre Auger Observatory
Josina Schulte, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Measurements of anisotropic arrival directions of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays provide important information for identifying their sources. On large scales, cosmic rays with energies above 8 EeV reveal a dipolar flux modulation in right ascension with a significance of 6.9 deg., with the dipole direction pointing 113◦ away from the Galactic center. This observation is explained by extragalactic origins. Also, model-independent searches for small- and intermediate-scale overdensities have been performed in order to unveil astrophysically interesting regions. On these scales, no statistically significant features could be detected. However, intermediate-scale analyses comparing the measured arrival directions with potential source catalogs show indications for a coincidence of the measured arrival directions with catalogs of starburst galaxies and the Centaurus A region. In this contribution, an overview of the studies regarding anisotropies of the arrival directions of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays measured at the Pierre Auger Observatory on different angular scales is presented and the current results are discussed.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, UHECR anisotropy studies, UHECR sources
Published in RUNG: 24.01.2024; Views: 1111; Downloads: 5
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5.
With AugerPrime to the phase II of the Pierre Auger Observatory
Daniele Martello, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: AugerPrime, the upgrade of the Pierre Auger Observatory, is nearing completion and the Observatory is now prepared to collect physics data after the commissioning of the new components. The Pierre Auger Observatory has demonstrated, based on the data collected thus far, the existence of the cutoff in the spectrum with high accuracy. However, the origin of this cutoff remains incompletely understood. The upgraded Observatory is designed to address the unresolved questions regarding the nature of the cosmic ray flux cutoff thanks to its capability to disentangle the muon and electromagnetic components of extensive air showers. Furthermore, the measurement of the muon component at ground level can verify the accuracy of hadronic interaction models currently used. This presentation will provide an overview of the status of the Observatory and the accurate commissioning done before the start of the physics run. Furthermore, we will present the initial data from Phase II data mainly dedicated to proving the continuity of operation of the Observatory from Phase I to Phase II.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, AugerPrime detector upgrade, Pierre Auger data
Published in RUNG: 24.01.2024; Views: 1073; Downloads: 6
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6.
Advances on the Pierre Auger outreach and education program
Gabriella Cataldi, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Pierre Auger Observatory has implemented a novel method of astroparticle detection that combines various techniques and has an open data policy. The dissemination of information about the different astroparticle detection methods, ranging from surface water-Cherenkov detectors to underground scintillator detectors, is now possible due to access to specialized tools for data analysis. This allows for the introduction of the topic of astroparticles to teachers and students at different educational levels. This marks a significant moment for the Observatory. In this work, we will discuss the diverse outreach initiatives undertaken by the Observatory, which have facilitated interaction among members of the international collaboration and enabled collaborative actions between the permanent staff of the Observatory in Malargüe and other institutions worldwide through synchronous meetings. These programs provide visitors with the opportunity to explore the environment of secondary particle cascades produced by cosmic rays, leading to a record number of monthly visitors since the opening of the Observatory 25 years ago.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, Pierre Auger Outreach and Education program
Published in RUNG: 24.01.2024; Views: 982; Downloads: 8
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7.
Astrophysical interpretation of energy spectrum and mass composition of cosmic rays as measured at the Pierre Auger Observatory
Eleonora Guido, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The combined interpretation of the spectrum and composition measurements plays a key role in the quest for the origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs). The Pierre Auger Observatory, thanks to its huge exposure, provides the most precise measurement of the energy spectrum of UHECRs and the most reliable information on their composition, exploiting the distributions of the depth of maximum of the showers in the atmosphere. A combined fit of a simple astrophysical model of UHECR sources to the spectrum and mass composition measurements is used to evaluate the constraining power of the data measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory on the source properties. We find that our data across the “ankle” feature are well reproduced if two extragalactic populations of sources are considered, one emitting a very soft spectrum which dominates the region below the ankle, and the other taking over at energies above the ankle, with an intermediate mixed composition, a hard spectrum and a low rigidity cutoff. Interestingly, similar results can also be obtained if the medium-mass contribution at lower energy is provided by an additional galactic component.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, UHECR energy spectrum, UHECR mass composition
Published in RUNG: 24.01.2024; Views: 1034; Downloads: 7
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8.
Investigation of multi-messenger properties of FR0 radio galaxy emitted ultra-high energy cosmic rays
Jon Paul Lundquist, Lukas Merten, Serguei Vorobiov, Margot Boughelilba, Albert Reimer, Paolo Da Vela, F. Tavecchio, G. Bonnoli, C. Righi, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Low luminosity Fanaroff-Riley type 0 (FR0) radio galaxies are amongst potential contributors to the observed flux of ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECRs). Due to FR0s’ much higher abundance in the local universe than more powerful radio galaxies (e.g., about five times more ubiquitous at redshifts z≤0.05 than FR1s), they could provide a substantial fraction of the total UHECR energy density. In the presented work, we determine the mass composition and energy spectrum of UHECRs emitted by FR0 sources by fitting simulation results from the CRPropa3 framework to the recently published Pierre Auger Observatory data. The resulting emission spectral characteristics (spectral indices, rigidity cutoffs) and elemental group fractions are compared to the Auger results. The FR0 simulations include the approximately isotropic distribution of FR0s extrapolated from the measured FR0 galaxy properties and various extragalactic magnetic field configurations, including random and large-scale structured fields. We predict the fluxes of secondary photons and neutrinos produced during UHECR propagation through cosmic photon backgrounds. The presented results allow for probing the properties of the FR0 radio galaxies as cosmic-ray sources using observational high-energy multi-messenger data.
Keywords: ultra-high energy cosmic rays, UHECRs, Pierre Auger Observatory, UHECR propagation, UHECR interactions, UHECR energy spectrum, UHECR mass composition, UHECR sources, Fanaroff-Riley (FR) radio galaxies, FR0 galaxies
Published in RUNG: 24.01.2024; Views: 825; Downloads: 39
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9.
Latest results from the searches for ultra-high-energy photons and neutrinos at the Pierre Auger Observatory
Marcus Niechciol, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The Pierre Auger Observatory is the largest air-shower experiment in the world, offering an unprecedented exposure not only to ultra-high-energy (UHE, �>10^17 eV) cosmic rays, but also to UHE neutral particles, specifically photons and neutrinos. Since the beginning of data taking almost 20 years ago, a number of searches for UHE photons and neutrinos using the different detector systems of the Observatory have been carried out. These searches led to some of the most stringent upper limits on the diffuse—i.e., direction-independent, unresolved—fluxes of photons and neutrinos in the UHE regime. These limits severely constrain current models for the origin of UHE cosmic rays and underline the capabilities of the Pierre Auger Observatory and its leading role in the context of multimessenger astronomy at the highest energies. In this contribution, we give an overview of the current activities concerning searches for UHE photons and neutrinos in the data from the Pierre Auger Observatory. The latest results of the searches for diffuse fluxes of photons and neutrinos will be shown. Furthermore, the follow- up searches for UHE photons and neutrinos in association with transient events, such as gravitational wave events, will be summarized. In addition, future perspectives in view of the ongoing AugerPrime detector upgrade will be discussed, which will further improve the sensitivity of the Pierre Auger Observatory to neutral particles at the highest energies.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, AugerPrime, multimessenger astronomy
Published in RUNG: 24.01.2024; Views: 928; Downloads: 6
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10.
Investigating the UHECR characteristics from cosmogenic neutrino limits with the measurements of the Pierre Auger Observatory
Camilla Petrucci, Andrej Filipčič, Jon Paul Lundquist, Shima Ujjani Shivashankara, Samo Stanič, Serguei Vorobiov, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Cosmogenic neutrinos are expected to originate in the extragalactic propagation of ultra-highenergy cosmic rays (UHECRs), as a result of their interactions with background photons. Due to these reactions, the visible Universe in UHECRs is more limited than in neutrinos, which instead could reach us without interacting after traveling cosmological distances. In this contribution, we exploit a multimessenger approach by computing the expected energy spectrum and mass composition of UHECRs at Earth corresponding to combinations of spectral parameters and mass composition at their sources, as well as parameters related to the UHECR source distribution, and by determining, at the same time, the associated cosmogenic neutrino fluxes. By comparing the expected UHECR observables to the energy spectrum and mass composition measured at the Pierre Auger Observatory above 10^17.8 eV and the expected neutrino fluxes to the most updated neutrino limits, we show the dependence of the neutrino fluxes on the characteristics of the the properties of the potential sources of UHECRs, such as their cosmological evolution and maximum redshift. In addition, the fraction of protons compatible with the data is also investigated in terms of expected neutrino fluxes.
Keywords: Pierre Auger Observatory, ultra-high energy cosmic rays
Published in RUNG: 24.01.2024; Views: 800; Downloads: 4
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