CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2014
 13 February 2014

13 February 2014

Speaker: Aaron Parsons (UC Berkeley)

Title: Building HERA from PAPERclips and Supercomputers

Abstract: The Precision Array to Probe the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER) is one of several intensity mapping experiments aiming to use redshifted 21cm emission to study our early universe. PAPER is deployed in South Africa, and combines inexpensive "paperclip" antennas with signal-processing supercomputers. In a major breakthrough for the field, we have managed to remove the bulk of our foregrounds, and are now achieving upper limits that constrain the heating and ionization of the intergalactic medium by the first luminous objects. Building on these successes, the US community is coalescing around a next-generation experiment for exploring cosmic reionization via 21cm emission. The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) is envisioned to be a large array of zenith-pointing parabolic dishes optimized for power spectral measurements. HERA's considerable collecting area enables it to precisely measure ionization fraction versus redshift, directly imaging larger ionization bubbles, and probe heating in pre-reionization epochs. HERA is being proposed to the NSF's MSIP program, and if funded, would begin construction in Sept. 2014.


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