YITP International Molecule-type Workshop

Fast Radio Bursts: A Mystery Being Solved?

February 8 - February 19, 2021
Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University

On this workshop

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are enigmatic phenomena in the Universe. The brightness temperature of a FRB reaches an extreme value ~10^{35} K, implying coherent emission. FRBs occur at an extraordinary rate, thousands per day over the entire sky, with a millisecond duration. Since their discovery in 2007, huge effort has been devoted to uncovering the origin of FRBs. FRBs are now established as an extragalactic source. FRB sources may be new, exotic kinds of objects or known types in extreme circumstances, such as magnetars (super-strongly magnetized neutron stars). FRBs are also powerful tracers of circumburst environments, "missing baryons" in the intergalactic medium, and dark matter.

In 2020, missing pieces of the puzzle are being discovered very rapidly. First, periodic repeating FRBs such as FRB 180916.J0158+65 were discovered. The observed period may be interpreted by a binary orbit, free precession, or orbital precession. Second, a millisecond-duration radio burst FRB 200428 was discovered from the Galactic magnetar SGR 1935+2154. This may be drawn from the same population as the extragalactic FRB sample, although it is about 40 times less energetic than the weakest extragalactic FRB to date. An X-ray burst also coincides with FRB 200428, providing important implications for the emission mechanism. The discovery of FRB 200428 implies that active magnetars like SGR 1935+2154 can produce FRBs at extragalactic distances.

The FRB field is guaranteed to be exciting. New telescopes will expand the sample from hundreds to thousands, with burst localizations directly from interferometric surveys. The advent of multi-messenger observations and big surveys also boosts the progresses of the FRB studies.

In this workshop, we invite several leading and active scientists working in the field of fast radio bursts, aiming at enhancing the collaboration between Asia and USA. We focus in particular on interpreting the recent progresses to predict the observational feature for the next breakthrough.

This is the international molecule-type workshop, which is intended for intensive discussions and collaborations among (not-so-many) participants for an extended period of time (two weeks) with a relaxed atmosphere.

Schedule & Venue