Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are short events lasting a few seconds of copious flux of radiation arriving from random directions in the sky. They were discovered accidentally in the late sixties and since are considered among the most interesting puzzles in Astronomy. Today we know that they are the brightest explosions in the Universe. In spite of extensive efforts several dedicated satellites and numerous ground observations we still face numerous open questions concerning their nature. We propose to explore: How GRBs operate? What are their progenitors and how are they related to other astrophysical phenomena? What are the effects of GRBs on life in their surroundings?
The first question will shed light on physical conditions, like enormous gravitational fields in the vicinity of black holes, huge magnetic fields and extreme relativistic motion that we cannot explore otherwise. The second will enable us to use GRBs to explore conditions at the early Universe, like how did the first stars form. As GRBs could wipe out advanced forms of life in most of our Galaxy and in many other regions in the Universe, understanding how they control the habitable regions of the Universe will open new discussions of the anthropic principle and novel realization of our unique location in space and time. The three questions are interlinked and hence a combined project is in place. This is a theoretical project involving modeling and numerical simulations but it also involved data analysis and interpretation of observations.
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