A new generation of imaging atmospheric Čerenkov telescope arrays with energy thresholds as low as 30 GeV, angular resolutions of a few arc minutes, energy resolutions better than 20%, and energy flux sensitivities ∼10−13 erg cm−2 s−1 will elevate ground-based gamma-ray astronomy to a level comparable to that of research at longer wavelengths. The recent exciting observational results as well as theoretical predictions supply a strong rationale for the systematic study of primary γ-radiation in the very-high-energy (VHE) domain and the investigation of ultrarelativistic processes in astrophysical settings on both galactic and extragalactic scales. Such efforts will provide crucial insight into a number of fundamental problems of modern astrophysics and cosmology. This review discusses the current status of the field, the technical improvements that can be achieved, and the astrophysical topics that will be investigated.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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