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High time-resolution astrophysics (HTRA) involves measuring and studying astronomical phenomena on timescales of seconds to milliseconds. Although many areas of astronomy, such as X-ray astronomy and pulsar observations, have traditionally required high time-resolution studies, HTRA techniques are now being applied to optical, infrared and gamma-ray wavelength regimes, due to the development of high efficiency detectors and larger telescopes that can gather photons at a higher rate. With lectures from eminent scientists aimed at young researchers and postdoctorate students in observational astronomy and astrophysics, this volume gives a practical overview and introduction to the tools and techniques of HTRA. Just as multi-spectral observations of astrophysical phenomena are already yielding new scientific results, many astronomers are optimistic that exploring the time domain will open up an important new frontier in observational astronomy over the next decade.
It was more than 50 years ago when the first significant paper on accretion flows was written. Since then, the subject has grown incredibly, and today many X-ray satellites are engaged in research into observational signatures and tests of theoretical models for accretion processes in astrophysics. Recognizing the continued importance of this field, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias organized the XXIst in its Winter School series around the topic “Accretion Processes in Astrophysics.”
The primary aim of the school was to provide a wide-ranging and up-to-date overview of the theoretical, experimental, and analytical tools necessary for carrying out front-line research in the study of accretion processes. The school was particularly designed to offer young researchers guidelines to support their research in these areas.
The 40 lectures presented a fairly comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to the major observational and theoretical topics associated with accretion. With emphasis on the physical processes involved, this includes applications to close binary systems such as cataclysmic variables and X-ray binaries and their evolution, as well as the theory of relativistic accretion flows and the accretion processes in active galactic nuclei. The lectures were given by eight experienced scientists who are actively working on a variety of leading research projects and who have played key roles in the advances made in the field in recent years.