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Searching for the fingerprints of the first stars and black holes

Friday February 10, 2017
4:00 pm

 Presenter:  Judd Bowman, Arizona State University
 Series:  Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
 Abstract:  When did the first star form?  How massive was it?  And what happened when it died?  Answering these questions is key to understanding the formation of structure in the Universe.  In this talk, I will describe a novel observational approach that is poised to address our most fundamental questions about the era of Cosmic Dawn over 13 billion years ago.

Measurement of the all-sky low-frequency radio spectrum has the potential to constrain the basic properties of early stars and black holes.  After they formed, the stars and black holes produced ultraviolet and X-ray radiation that heated and ionized the surrounding hydrogen gas.  These effects are predicted to be observable through the 21 cm radio line of the gas.

The Experiment to Detect the Global Epoch of Reionization Signature (EDGES) measures the all-sky radio spectrum between 50 and 200 MHz from the Western Australian outback.  Over the last decade, our team has developed the instrumental techniques needed to detected the faint cosmological signal.  In 2015, we deployed our latest version of the experiment.  I will describe the challenges associated with the experiment, the strategies we use to overcome them, and the first results from our most recent observations.
 Host:  Gregory Taylor
 Location:  Room 125, Dane Smith Hall

Refreshments will be available before the colloquium, at 3:45 pm, in the lobby of Dane Smith Hall.

Disability Notice Individuals with disabilities who need an auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in P&A events should contact Sandra Ortiz (phone: 505-277-5900, email: sportiz@unm.edu) well in advance to ensure your needs are accommodated. Event handouts can be provided in alternative accessible formats upon request. Please contact Ms. Ortiz if you need written information in an alternative format.