NASA Insignia
MeV Gamma-ray Astronomy in the 2020s and Beyond

Gamma-ray Diagnostics of Explosive Transients

Eric Burns


The Astro 2020 Decadal highlighted time-domain and multimessenger science as a high priority research area this decade. Detecting distinct signatures in various wavelengths and messengers promises a revolution in our understanding of explosive transients. MeV observations of prompt gamma-ray burst polarization will advance our understanding of speed-of-light jets. Immediate and precise localization of neuron star mergers also detected through gravitational waves will enable a full understanding of these collisions, through their kilonovae phase. Lastly, observations of nuclear emission from supernovae provide unique information on how supernovae explode, particularly when combined with MeV neutrino detections. We will discuss the science enabled from these observations, prospects for obtaining them with forthcoming experiments this decade, and touch on the capabilities which will remain unfulfilled with current plans.