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Opening the 21 cm Window on Our Cosmic Dawn

21 cm cosmology promises to become a revolutionary new 3D probe of our early universe. With it, we can uncover the astrophysics of the "Cosmic Dawn" - the era of the first stars and galaxies - and test our standard model of cosmology with exquisite precision. Realizing the potential of 21 cm cosmology requires overcoming considerable challenges; the 21 cm signal is buried under foregrounds that are orders of magnitude brighter. We will need to carefully calibrate and analyze vast quantities of data from large radio interferometers. In this talk, I will present the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA), a purpose-built 21 cm experiment under construction in South Africa. As the leader of the HERA analysis team, I will discuss the techniques we've developed and the progress we've made separating the 21 signal from astrophysical foregrounds. These will enable HERA to detect and characterize the signal throughout the Cosmic Dawn and cross-check the recent EDGES detection that points tantalizingly at new physics. Finally, I will lay out a vision for the next generation of telescopes that will directly map the majority of the luminous matter in the universe to fulfill the promise of 21 cm cosmology.

Speaker: Josh Dillon, UC Berkeley

Thursday, 01/16/20


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Kavli Institute Astrophysics Colloquium

Physics and Astrophysics Building Room 102/103
452 Lomita Mall
Stanford, CA 94305