|Time:||Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 02:00pm|
|Title:||From the Cosmic Dawn to the Epoch of Reionization: a Radio Quest for Neutral Hydrogen in the Infant Universe|
|Speaker:||Prof. dr. L.V.E. Koopmans (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute)|
Detection of the redshifted 21-cm signal of neutral hydrogen from the Cosmic Dawn and Epoch of Reionization (EoR) promises a new avenue to study physical processes of early star and galaxy formation during the first billion years of the Universe. These eras form the foundation of our present-day observable universe. The quest for a detection of this 21-cm signal has been exceedingly hard with current radio telescopes, and has not yet been achieved, although steady progress is being made. I will give an overview of what can be learned from observing these early phases of the infant Universe as well as a broad review of some ongoing experiments aiming to detect this feeble signal. In particular, I will provide a status update on the LOFAR EoR Key Science project and the challenges that it and other similar projects are facing. I will show that considerable progress has been made in the last years, but that not all challenges have yet been met. I will end by introducing several exciting new projects that we have recently started, to observe the Cosmic Dawn and the Dark Ages, and give a glimpse of future opportunities with the SKA and HERA.
Leon Koopmans is full professor at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He holds a MSc (1995) and PhD (2000; Cum Laude) in astrophysics from the University of Groningen. He spent time as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manchester (UK), California Institute of Technology (US) and Space Telescope Science Institute (US), before returning to the Netherlands in 2004. He has two major research lines, studying galaxies using strong gravitational lensing and the physics of the infant Universe during the Cosmic Dawn and Epoch of Reionization (CD/EoR). He is PI of the LOFAR Epoch-of-Reionization Key Science Project, has chaired the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) CD/EoR Science Working Group, and currently chairs a large international Science Team preparing for a CD/EoR Key Science Project with the SKA. He is founding member of the Dutch SKA consortium, and its project scientist. He received both the Dutch VIDI and VICI career awards, as well as a European ERC grant.
Host: Prof. Dandan Xu