Physics Colloquium

"The Cosmic Microwave Background and How It Keeps on Revealing More about the Universe"

Presented by Suzanne Staggs, Princeton

Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 3:30 pm — Large Seminar Room, Bldg. 510

In the 50+ years since its discovery, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) has yielded surprisingly detailed and precise information about the form, content and dynamics of the early universe. High angular resolution maps, and polarization data at all angular scales, are the focus of current and next-generation instruments. I will describe what we already know about the universe from the CMB, and lay the ground for future revelations from the CMB, with special emphasis on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT).
ACT is a special-purpose 6m telescope situated at 17,000 ft in the dry Atacama Desert of northern Chile, at a latitude of 23 degrees South. ACT's millimeter-wave detectors measure both polarization and intensity at very fine angular scales (arcminutes). I will describe the ACT instrument and its data in the context of other ongoing and proposed CMB projects, their scientific impact, and the potential discovery space. I will include a brief description of the upcoming Simons Observatory.

Hosted by: Andrei Nomerotski

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