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Experimental Astronomy




We propose to perform a continuously scanning all-sky survey from 200 keV to 80 MeV achieving a sensitivity which is better by a factor of 40 or more compared to the previous missions in this energy range (COMPTEL, INTEGRAL; see Fig. 1). The Gamma-Ray Imaging, Polarimetry and Spectroscopy (“GRIPS”) mission addresses fundamental questions in ESA’s Cosmic Vision plan. Among the major themes of the strategic plan, GRIPS has its focus on the evolving, vio-lent Universe, exploring a unique energy window. We propose to investigate γ-ray bursts and blazars, the mechanisms behind supernova explosions, nucleosynthesis and spallation, the enigmatic origin of positrons in our Galaxy, and the nature of radiation processes and particle acceleration in extreme cosmic sources including pulsars and magnetars. The natural energy scale for these non-thermal processes is of the order of MeV. Although they can be partially and indirectly studied us-ing other methods, only the proposed GRIPS measurements will provide direct access to their primary photons. GRIPS will be a driver for the study of transient sources in the era of neutrino and gravitational wave observatories such as Ice-CUBE and LISA, establishing a new type of diagnostics in relativistic and nuclear astrophysics. This will support extrapolations to investigate star formation, galaxy evolution, and black hole formation at high redshifts.


Additional authors: Wim Hermsen, Wolfgang Hillebrandt, Rene Hudec, Anatoli Iyudin, Jordi Jose, Matthias Kadler, Gottfried Kanbach, Wlodek Klamra, Jürgen Kiener, Sylvio Klose, Ingo Kreykenbohm, Lucien M. Kuiper, Nikos Kylafis, Claudio Labanti, Karlheinz Langanke, Norbert Langer, Stefan Larsson, Bruno Leibundgut, Uwe Laux, Francesco Longo, Kei’ichi Maeda, Radoslaw Marcinkowski, Martino Marisaldi, Brian McBreen, Sheila McBreen, Attila Meszaros, Ken’ichi Nomoto, Mark Pearce, Asaf Peer, Elena Pian, Nikolas Prantzos, Georg Raffelt, Olaf Reimer, Wolfgang Rhode, Felix Ryde, Christian Schmidt, Joe Silk, Boris M. Shustov, Andrew Strong, Nial Tanvir, Friedrich-Karl Thielemann, Omar Tibolla, David Tierney, Joachim Tr ümper, Dmitry A. Varshalovich, Jorrn Wilms, Grzegorz Wrochna, Andrzej Zdziarski, Andreas Zoglauer