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Northwestern University

Weekly Astrophysics Seminars 2017-2018

Seminars are held at 4:00 PM on Tuesdays in Room F160
on the first floor of the Technological Institute (2145 Sheridan Road) unless otherwise noted


Winter Quarter 2018

  Date      Speaker / Seminar Host
  Jan. 16

Todd Thompson
   Ohio State University
    Physics and Phenomenology of Galactic Winds

Galactic winds are a crucial ingredient in galaxy evolution, but the physics of the ubiquitous outflowing high velocity gas seen from rapidly star-forming galaxies remains unknown. I will describe a series of projects designed to shed light on these open questions, with a focus on how to produce cool atomic and warm photo-ionized gas at high velocities. One idea is to precipitate the cool gas from the super-heated hot phase on scales outside the host galaxy. Another option is to directly accelerate the cool gas from the galaxy with momentum injection, perhaps provided by radiation pressure on dust, cosmic rays, or a putative fast, hot wind. I'll highlight challenges on both the observational and theoretical fronts, and connect to observational constraints on physical scales ranging from the host galaxy's molecular clouds to its circumgalactic medium.

Jonathan Stern

  Jan. 30

Maxwell Moe
   University of Arizona

Diego Munoz

  Feb. 6

Heino Falcke
   Radboud University
    Imaging Black Holes Now and in the Future

One of the most fundamental predictions of general relativity are black holes. Their defining feature is the event horizon, the surface that even light cannot escape. So far, we have never seen the event horizon, but this is about to change. Advanced computer simulations make clear predictions of how the shadow of black holes should look like and global interferometric radio observations with the Event Horizon Telescope are now trying to image the supermassive black hole in the center of our own Milky Way and the radio galaxy M87 for the very first time. To improve the imaging quality further more telescopes should be added to the array, in particular in Africa. The more distant future will belong to higher frequencies and space-based interferometry. The talk will give an overview of the ongoing research to image and simulate black holes, as well as of plans for future expansions.

Rocco Coppejans

  Feb. 13

Rebekah (Bekki) Dawson
   Pennsylvania State University

Wen-fai Fong

  Feb. 20

Christina Williams
   University of Arizona

Wen-fai Fong

  Feb. 27

Duncan Lorimer
   West Virginia University
   Fast Radio Bursts -- Nature's Latest Cosmic Mystery

Fast Radio Bursts are millisecond-duration pulses of unknown origin that were discovered by pulsar astronomers in 2007. A decade on from the discovery, with only 20 further bursts currently known, fast radio bursts remain enigmatic sources which parallel the early days of gamma-ray burst astronomy in the early 1970s. I will tell the story of their discovery, summarize what we know about them so far, describe the science opportunities these bursts present, and make predictions for what we will learn in the next decade.

Deanne Coppejans

  Mar. 6

Maria Drout
   Carnegie Institute for Science

Giacomo Terreran

  Mar. 13

Sasha Philippov
   UC Berkeley

Sasha Tchekhovskoy

Spring Quarter 2018

  Date      Speaker / Seminar Host
  Apr. 3

Shami Chatterjee
   Cornell University

Deanne Coppejans

  Apr. 24

Suvi Gezari
   University of Maryland

Giacomo Terreran

  May 1

Rachel Somerville
   Rutgers University

Sarah Wellons

  May 22

Charlie Conroy
   Harvard University

Cliff Johnson

For more information, contact:

Past Astrophysics Seminars