CfA Colloquium Schedule Fall 2013
 26 September 2013

26 September 2013

Speaker: Edo Berger (CfA)

Title:Thinking Fourth-Dimensionally

Abstract: Time-domain astrophysics is on the rise, exemplified in part by the Astro2010 endorsement of LSST and WFIRST. The field is driven by the fact that transient events represent the violent release of large energy reservoirs, and therefore offer a unique window onto extreme physical processes (core-collapse, accretion, relativistic jets), the final evolutionary stages and eventual death of massive stars, and the birth (or demise) of compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, magnetars, black holes). Equally important, luminous transients can be exploited as probes of the distant universe on a wide range of scales, from individual star forming regions to the intergalactic medium. Finally, transients will be at the forefront of multi-messenger studies in the upcoming era of gravitational wave astrophysics. In this talk I will present recent results from the Berger Time-Domain Group that span the explosion physics and progenitors of gamma-ray bursts, detailed studies of ultra-luminous supernovae and their host galaxies, investigations of fast optical transients, and the use of transients as probes of the distant universe. I will also explore critical future directions for the field as we prepare for the era of LSST, Advanced LIGO, and the GMT.


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