The large observatory for x-ray timing (LOFT)
Feroci, Marco and Stella, L. and Van der Klis, M. and Courvoisier, T. J.-L. and Hernanz, M. and Hudec, R. and Santangelo, A. and Walton, D. and Zdziarski, A. and Barret, D. and Belloni, T. and Braga, J. and Brandt, S. and Budtz-Jrgensen, C. and Campana, S. and Den Herder, J.-W. and Huovelin, J. and Israel, G. L. and Pohl, M. and Ray, P. and Vacchi, A. and Zane, S. and Argan, A. and Attina, P. and Bertuccio, G. and Bozzo, E. and Campana, R. and Chakrabarty, D. and Costa, E. and De Rosa, A. and Del Monte, E. and Di Cosimo, S. and Donnarumma, I. and Evangelista, Y. and Haas, D. and Jonker, P. and Korpela, S. and Labanti, C. and Malcovati, P. and Mignani, R. and Muleri, F. and Rapisarda, M. and Rashevsky, A. and Rea, N. and Rubini, A. and Tenzer, C. and Wilson-Hodge, C. and Winter, B. and Wood, K. and Zampa, G. and Zampa, N. and Abramowicz, M. A. and Alpar, M. Ali and Altamirano, D. and Alvarez, J. M. and Amati, L. and Amoros, C. and Antonelli, L. A. and Artigue, R. and Azzarello, P. and Bachetti, M. and Baldazzi, G. and Barbera, M. and Barbieri, C. and Basa, S. and Baykal, A. and Belmont, R. and Boirin, L. and Bonvicini, V. and Burderi, L. and Bursa, M. and Cabanac, C. and Cackett, E. and Caliandro, G. A. and Casella, P. and Chaty, S. and Chenevez, J. and Coe, M. J. and Collura, A. and Corongiu, A. and Covino, S. and Cusumano, G. and D'Amico, F. and Dall'Osso, S. and De Martino, D. and De Paris, G. and Di Persio, G. and Di Salvo, T. and Done, C. and Dovciak, M. and Drago, A. and Ertan, Ünal and Fabiani, S. and Falanga, M. and Fender, R. and Ferrando, P. and Della Monica Ferreira, D. and Fraser, G. and Frontera, F. and Fuschino, F. and Galvez, J. L. and Gandhi, P. and Giommi, P. and Godet, O. and Göğüş, Ersin and Goldwurm, A. and Götz, D. and Grassi, M. and Guttridge, P. and Hakala, P. and Henri, G. and Hermsen, W. and Horak, J. and Hornstrup, A. and In 't Zand, J. J. M. and Isern, J. and Kalemci, Emrah and Kanbach, G. and Karas, V. and Kataria, D. and Kennedy, T. and Klochkov, D. and Kluzniak, W. and Kokkotas, K. and Kreykenbohm, I. and Krolik, J. and Kuiper, L. and Kuvvetli, I. and Kylafis, N. and Lattimer, J. M. and Lazzarotto, F. and Leahy, D. and Lebrun, F. and Lin, D. and Lund, N. and Maccarone, T. and Malzac, J. and Marisaldi, M. and Martindale, A. and Mastropietro, M. and McClintock, J. and McHardy, I. and Mendez, M. and Mereghetti, S. and Miller, M. C. and Mineo, T. and Morelli, E. and Morsink, S. and Motch, C. and Motta, S. and Munoz Darias, T. and Naletto, G. and Neustroev, V. and Nevalainen, J. and Olive, J. F. and Orio, M. and Orlandini, M. and Orleanski, P. and Ozel, F. and Pacciani, L. and Paltani, S. and Papadakis, I. and Papitto, A. and Patruno, A. and Pellizzoni, A. and Petracek, V. and Petri, J. and Petrucci, P. O. and Phlips, B. and Picolli, L. and Possenti, A. and Psaltis, D. and Rambaud, D. and Reig, P. and Remillard, R. and Rodriguez, J. and Romano, P. and Romanova, M. and Schanz, T. and Schmid, C. and Segreto, A. and Shearer, A. and Smith, A. and Smith, P. J. and Soffitta, P. and Stergioulas, N. and Stolarski, M. and Stuchlik, Z. and Tiengo, A. and Torres, D. and Török, G. and Turolla, R. and Uttley, P. and Vaughan, S. and Vercellone, S. and Waters, R. and Watts, A. and Wawrzaszek, R. and Webb, N. and Wilms, J. and Zampieri, L. and Zezas, A. and Ziolkowski, J. (2011) The large observatory for x-ray timing (LOFT). Experimental Astronomy (Sl), 34 (2). pp. 415-444. ISSN 1572-9508
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10686-011-9237-2
High-time-resolution X-ray observations of compact objects provide direct access to strong-field gravity, to the equation of state of ultradense matter and to black hole masses and spins. A 10 m2-class instrument in combination with good spectral resolution is required to exploit the relevant diagnostics and answer two of the fundamental questions of the European Space Agency (ESA) Cosmic Vision Theme "Matter under extreme conditions", namely: does matter orbiting close to the event horizon follow the predictions of general relativity? What is the equation of state of matter in neutron stars? The Large Observatory For X-ray Timing (LOFT), selected by ESA as one of the four Cosmic Vision M3 candidate missions to undergo an assessment phase, will revolutionise the study of collapsed objects in our galaxy and of the brightest supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei. Thanks to an innovative design and the development of large-area monolithic silicon drift detectors, the Large Area Detector (LAD) on board LOFT will achieve an effective area of ~12 m2 (more than an order of magnitude larger than any spaceborne predecessor) in the 2-30 keV range (up to 50 keV in expanded mode), yet still fits a conventional platform and small/medium-class launcher. With this large area and a spectral resolution of <260 eV, LOFT will yield unprecedented information on strongly curved spacetimes and matter under extreme conditions of pressure and magnetic field strength.
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