NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Modeling Blazar Jets with Particle Transport Methods (and a discussion of Snowmass)
Blazars are luminous active galaxies with a jet pointed along our line of sight. They give us a unique view into one of the most extreme particle acceleration regions in the Universe, with observations across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Blazars are the most numerous extragalactic sources in the gamma-rays, and can have variability timescales on the order of minutes. However, the particle acceleration mechanisms that give rise to the power in these observed signals are not well understood. One method of addressing this problem intuitively is to simulate the particle energies from first principles, and then carefully calculate observables, like time lags, spectra, and polarization fraction, to compare with existing data or predict observables for upcoming missions like AMEGO-X.
Snowmass is a collective (inter)national scientific planning process that helps determine the future foci of the High-Energy Physics and Astrophysics (HEPA) community. The Snowmass Process takes place every 5–10 years and shapes the goals for experimentalists and theorists for the next 10–20 years through funding priority recommendations for NSF and DOE. Discussions of the future of HEPA take place over multiple research "Frontiers," including Energy, Neutrino Physics, Cosmic. Through discussions and white papers, you can steer the future of HEPA research. The process culminates in the community informing the next Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5).