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Peter Timbie (UW-Madison) “21cm Intensity Mapping: A New Cosmological Tool?”
December 5, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The 21 cm line from neutral hydrogen gas has many useful properties for mapping large volumes of the cosmos. These maps will give us a view of the Universe when the first luminous objects formed through gravity – the Cosmic Dawn and the Epoch of Reionization, and later, the post-Reionization Universe. They may even allow us to map the epoch before these luminous objects, the cosmic dark ages. The large volumes of these maps promise dramatic improvements in estimation of cosmological parameters. Data is flowing now from a new generation of radio telescopes optimized for this task. Unfortunately, the main challenge for all of them is that the astrophysical radio foregrounds are ~10,000 times brighter than the expected hydrogen signal. In this talk I will focus on current and planned efforts to use the new technique of` ‘hydrogen intensity mapping’ to make tomographic maps of the post-Reionization universe. In particular, I will describe the first measurements from an instrument in China, called the Tianlai (‘Cosmic Sound’) Pathfinder.