Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

The Past, Present, and Future of 21cm Cosmology

7Tuesday, Feb. 7
Adrian Liu - UC Berkeley Department of Astronomy
4:00 pm, 105 Space Sciences Bldg.

Despite tremendous recent progress, gaps remain in our knowledge of our cosmic history. For example, we have yet to make direct observations of Cosmic Dawn or the subsequent Epoch of Reionization. Together, these represent the important period when the first stars and galaxies were formed, dramatically altering their surroundings in the process. Radio telescopes targeting the 21cm line will open up these crucial epochs to direct observations in the next few years, filling in a missing chapter in our cosmic story. I will review our recent results from the Precision Array to Probe the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER) experiment. These results have begun to shed light on heating processes during reionization. I will also motivate unconventional ideas in experiment design that have been proposed and implemented to deal with the unique technical challenges of 21cm cosmology. Cognizant of "lessons learned" from the current generation of instruments, I will describe our recently commenced Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA), including its forecasted promise to provide exquisite constraints on reionization astrophysics as well as on fundamental parameters such as the neutrino mass.

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