EUR 1,981,250 EUR 1,981,250
What is the origin of the electromagnetic (EM) counterparts of gravitational waves observed from compact binary mergers? What makes short gamma ray bursts (GRBs)? What are the sources of IceCube’s high-energy neutrinos? Are all core-collapse supernovae exploding via the same mechanism? These are some of the puzzles that have emerged with the rapid progress of time domain astronomy. Relativistic jets in compact binary mergers and GRBs, and their interaction with the surrounding media hold the key to these, and other, seemingly unrelated broad-impact questions. Here I propose a new forefront study of how relativistic jets interact with their surrounding media and of its numerous implications, focusing on compact binary mergers and GRBs. The goal of this project is to study, first, the jet-media interaction, and the microphysics of the radiation-mediated shocks that it drives. I will then use the results, together with available observations, to learn about compact binary mergers, GRBs and SNe, sheding light on the questions listed above, and probing the nature of relativistic jets in general. Important goals will include: (i) General models for the propagation of relativistic jets in various media types. (ii) Modeling of the EM signal generated by jet-media interaction following compact binary mergers. (iii) Estimates of the neutrino signal from jet-media interaction in GRBs and SNe. (iv) Constraint the role of jets in SN explosions. This project is timey as it comes at the beginning of a new multi-messenger era where the EM counterparts of GW sources are going to be detected on a regular basis and where the face of transient astrophysics is going to be changed by a range of large scale surveys such as LSST, the SKA, and more. This project will set the theoretical base for understanding numerous known and yet-to be discovered transients that will be detected in the next decade.