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Astrophysics Colloquium

The Precision Array to Probe the Epoch of Reionization
Presented by Chris Carilli
National Radio Astronomical Observatory

Thursday, May 30, 2013
4:00 P.M. in 169-336

Abstract
Cosmic reionization corresponds to the epoch when light from the first stars and black holes reionized the neutral InterGalactic Medium (IGM) that pervade the Universe following recombination. This epoch of 'first new light' in the Universe, remains the last epoch of cosmic structure formation to be tested and explored. I will summarize the latest constraints on cosmic reionization, with a focus on observations of the Gunn-Peterson effect in the spectra of the highest z quasars (z > 6), and related techniques. I will then focus on the PAPER experiment to detect HI 21cm emission directly from the neutral IGM at low frequencies (120MHz to 180MHZ). PAPER has produced unprecedented wide field, low frequency images of the southern sky, and we have set the best (statistical) limits on the HI 21cm signal from reionization to date. We are exploring the techniques and telescope designs required to eventually image the evolution of the neutral IGM during reionization, and into the preceding 'dark ages'. Such imaging has the potential to become the 'richest of all cosmological datasets'.

JPL Contact: Graca Rocha (3-0095)


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