Star Talk: How to Measure the Universe’s Oldest Light

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It may surprise you to know that we can still observe the Big Bang, in a way! In fact, every time you accidentally flip to TV static, you’re watching a fragment of it right there! To find out more about this echo of the spawning of the universe, join us online on Wednesday, August 12 at 6:30PM. From that first, immense explosion to now, Dr. Adam Hincks will be delving into the details of the cosmic microwave background radiation! As always, everyone is welcome!

Lecture Abstract:
How to Measure the Universe’s Oldest Light and What it Tells UsThe cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the glow of the
universe from soon after the Big Bang. Today, we can observe this nearly 14 billion-year-old light with microwave telescopes and use it to determine some of the most fundamental properties of the cosmos, such as its age, what it is made out of, and how fast it is expanding. We can also learn how the universe behaved in its very first instants. I will introduce this exciting science and describe how we observe the CMB, focusing in particular on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the Simons Observatory—the first currently observing and the second under development—located in the north of Chile.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Adam Hincks is the inaugural holder of the Sutton Family Chair in Science, Christianity and Cultures at U of T’s David A. Dunlap Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics. Dr. Hincks is an ordained Jesuit priest, and is affiliated with both the Vatican Observatory and the Simons Observatory where he researches the CMB

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