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Monte-Carlo simulations of pair cascades in blazar environments

Blazars are the dominant class of extragalactic gamma-ray sources observed by ground-based gamma-ray observatories, such as H.E.S.S. in Namibia. Their gamma-ray emission, extending into the TeV regime (carrying a trillion times the energy of visible light) is produced in relativistic jets ejected by the central supermassive black holes in those active galaxies (AGN = Active Galactic Nucleus). However, such gamma-rays may not escape freely from the galaxy and its environment, as they can be annihilated by gamma-gamma pair production. In this project, we will continue the development of a sophisticated Monte-Carlo simulation code that traces the development of electromagnetic cascades initiated by gamma-gamma pair production in the AGN environment. These processes absorb part of the TeV (H.E.S.S.) gamma-ray emission from the blazar and re-process it to leave additional imprints in the lower-energy (Fermi-LAT) gamma-ray emission, which can be used to study the Galactic environments of those blazars. Programming skills (ideally, including C) are essential for this project.
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