Events Calendar

JSI Colloquium Series - Alexander van der Horst
Monday 08 February 2016, 15:30 - 17:00
Contact Susan Lehr
Location Room 1136 Physical Sciences Building, University of Maryland, College Park

"Hunting for Transients in the Radio Sky"

Speaker: Dr. Alexander van der Horst (George Washington University)

While a large fraction of the observable Universe is steady and does not change on human timescales, there are objects displaying variability on timescales of years to days, to even small fractions of a second. These cosmic transients are usually associated with the most extreme phenomena in the Universe like neutron stars, black holes, or the formation of these exotic objects. Their variability can be observed across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Within the multi-wavelength picture, the radio regime reveals incoherent synchrotron emission of high-energy particles moving in the present magnetic fields or coherent radiation from ultra-compact structures. In the past, studies of transients at radio frequencies have mostly been prompted by detections at higher frequencies, in particular because most radio observatories were limited in their field of view and/or sensitivity. This has changed significantly in the last few years: all major radio observatories in the world have recently been upgraded or are currently being upgraded, and several new facilities have been or are being built. This means large improvements in sensitivity, bandwidth, and spatial, spectral and temporal resolution. Some new observatories explore the low-frequency radio sky down to tens of MHz with unprecedented sensitivity. Furthermore, several new radio facilities have a wide field of view, perfectly suited for efficient surveys of the entire sky and searches for transient radio phenomena. In this talk I will discuss the progress that has been made in our understanding of a variety of transients due to radio observations, discoveries of new phenomena in the radio regime, and the current efforts and future opportunities in the hunt for radio transients.

Parking:  You may park in the Regents Drive Parking Garage located directly across from the Physical Sciences Complex.  Look for the green Pay Station Parking signs and park in any numbered lot.  Please use parking code 883-85704 for this event.  This parking code is good for 02/08/16 only.

Coffee and cookies will be available beginning at 3:30 pm. Talk begins at 4 pm.