Dr. Athina Meli is an astrophysicist, writer and painter. She holds a PhD in Physics from the prestigious Imperial College London and a Diploma of Higher Education in Social Sciences from the British Open University. She has conducted research in internationally known research institutes, such as Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy Bonn, she has given various invited talks and seminars in international meetings and conferences, and she is been collaborating with internationally known theoretical astrophysicists.
Her research interests lie within the area of Astroparticle physics, High-Energy astrophysics and Plasma astrophysics. Over the last 15 years she has been studying the acceleration mechanisms of high energy Cosmic Rays. She has been a member of major international cosmic-ray and cosmic-neutrino observatory experiments such as Auger, IceCube and Antares/Km3net.
The observed Cosmic Ray spectrum, especially in very high energies, is an exciting subject of research for over a century. Athina studies the possible mechanisms of production and origin of these Cosmic Rays and has investigated with sophisticated simulations the kinematic acceleration mechanisms that occur in astrophysical plasma shock formations in galactic and extra-galactic environments. She tries to understand the connection to the consequent emissions in the galaxy, and to individual extra-galactic sources, in neutrinos, gamma-, x-rays and radio waves, which are also critically dependent on the topology of the sources’ magnetic (electric) fields.
So far her research results offered important insights on the efficiency of the stochastic processes of the diffusive acceleration in relativistic plasma environments. She showed that the efficiency of the diffusive particle shock acceleration in a relativistic plasma environment varies, especially, on the direction of the magnetic field in a turbulent plasma (e.g. shock), with consequences to observed multi-wavelength radiation (cosmic-rays-neutrinos and gamma-rays).
Presently, her research interests focus on extensive simulation studies of relativistic astrophysical jet plasmas with helical magnetic fields, the effects they have into the injection and acceleration of high energy Cosmic Rays and the role they play on the consequent multi-wavelength radiation such as x-ray, gamma-rays and radio, in order to explain or predict observational data from major terrestrial and airborne telescopes.