Enabling New Probes of the Cosmos with Novel Technology

Enabling New Probes of the Cosmos with Novel Technology

Dr. Matt Dobbs, professor at McGill University

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Dec. 14, 2021 19:00


Progress in science is often driven by the advent of new instrumentation. I will discuss the interplay between technological development and new measurements that allow progress in astrophysics and cosmology. I will focus on new digital telescopes such as CHIME and Cosmic Microwave Background instruments such as the South Pole Telescope. Story-telling and the adventure of science will be prominent. No prerequisites required.ost things in the universe happen over millions or even billions of years but some things change on the timescales of human life and can be seen to change in a matter of months, days, or even seconds. These are some of the most extreme events in the universe, things like the collapse of a dying star, or a collision of two massive objects. Humans have been observing astronomical transients for centuries, from supernovae to gamma ray bursts and, most recently, gravitational waves. In 2007, we discovered a brand-new type of transient called fast radio bursts, bright radio pulses that last only a few milliseconds. Their origin is one of the newest unsolved mysteries of astronomy. I will tell the story of their discovery and some of the most exciting new breakthroughs.