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What accelerates the highest energy particles in the Universe? Do they emit a radiation signature? How do they affect the interstellar and intergalactic mediums?

To answer these questions we study the physics of shock fronts and that of pair creation and radiation in strong electromagnetic waves. This is important not only in the extreme astrophysical conditions found near neutron stars and rotating black holes, but also under conditions that will be accessible in the laboratory using high-intensity, short-pulse lasers.

Predicting and modelling of the emission of sources such as the binary pulsar PSR B1259-63, supernova remnants, and active galaxies is also an important aspect of our research, enabling observations such as those made by the H.E.S.S. collaboration to be interpreted in a physically meaningful scenario.

Predictions of the high-energy gamma-ray emission of the binary pulsar PSR 1259-63 made in 1999 (solid line), compared with measurements made in 2004. This was the first source discovered by the H.E.S.S. collaboration.