Speaker: Ruben Sanchez Ramirez (CSIC Granada)
Title: What are we learning from the biggest explosions in the Universe?
Abstract: Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the most violent phenomena known in the Universe. Since their accidental discovery during the cold war, the nature of these brief but intense bursts of gamma-ray emission has fascinated astronomers. Since the late 80s, a series of thrilling and exciting discoveries took place, culminating, around 10 years later, with the discovery of the afterglows that followed the gamma-ray bursts. Currently, the available observational records and the development of theoretical models are improving our understanding on the nature of long GRBs, that come from the explosion of very massive stars. However, very little in known on the short GRBs population, originated from the coalescence of two compact objects. This is dramatically changing since 2017 due to the born of the multimessenger astronomy. In this talk, I will introduce GRBs and their afterglows, and will review the state-of-the-art, including their use as cosmological probes. Finally, I will explain the impact of the detection of GW170817/GRB170817A to our understanding on the short GRB phenomena, and the prospects for the field in the coming years with the next LIGO/Virgo runs.