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Physics Colloquium

Thursday, May 11, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Online and In-Person Event
The Deep Synoptic Array: the origins of fast radio bursts
Vikram Ravi, Caltech,

The origins of the millisecond-duration, energetic (>10^39 erg) fast radio bursts (FRBs) at extragalactic distances remain shrouded in mystery. Although FRBs are likely associated with neutron stars, they originate from a remarkable diversity of progenitor environments. Understanding the formation of FRB sources is thus intertwined with long-standing problems in neutron-star formation. The Deep Synoptic Array (DSA-110) radio telescope, nearing the end of construction at Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory, is discovering and pinpointing FRBs to host galaxies at a world-leading rate. I will present the first results from a DSA-110 FRB sample. These results shed new light on the origins of FRBs, highlighting the potential roles of multiple progenitor channels. FRBs additionally form exquisite tracers of the contents and physical conditions of baryons along their sightlines, and DSA-110 discoveries are enabling tantalizing measurements of the content of the Milky Way circum-galactic medium, and the intra-cluster of massive galaxy clusters. I will conclude by introducing the upcoming DSA-2000 radio camera, which will transform our access to the radio sky. With unmatched survey speed for continuum, spectral-line and short-timescale emission in the 0.7-2GHz band, the DSA-2000 will address frontier questions in multi-messenger and time-domain astrophysics, and on our cosmic history.

Join via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 858 1199 4621

The colloquium is held in Feynman Lecture Hall, 201 E. Bridge.

In person is open to those with a valid Caltech ID.