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Astrophysics Colloquium

Fast Radio Bursts: A Deepening Mystery
Presented by Shami Chatterjee
Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, and The Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University

Thursday, December 14, 2017
11:00 A.M. in 169-336

Abstract
Fast radio bursts, dispersed millisecond flashes of radio waves originating from beyond the Milky Way, are an enigmatic phenomenon, with more competing models to describe them than there are examples. With the recent localization of the repeating FRB 121102 and the measurement of a redshift z = 0.193 for its host galaxy, we have confirmed the cosmological origin of FRBs. The precise localization of a repeating FRB source has also enabled observations over a broad spectral range, revealing intriguing new clues about the central engine, its extreme magneto-ionic environment, and the role of propagation effects. Understanding the central engine of FRBs as a class and unlocking their future use as cosmological probes will require a larger sample of FRBs, the discovery of other repeating sources, and the identification of more host galaxies.

JPL Contact: Jorge Pineda (4-3347)


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