Wen-fai Fong utilizes observations across the electromagnetic spectrum to study explosive transients and their host galaxy environments. These transients primarily include fast radio bursts, gamma-ray bursts, and electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources.
The main questions she seeks to answer in her research are: What are physical origins of these transients? What is the nature and composition of material ejected from these sources? What types of environments do they explode into?
To aid these efforts, Wen-fai uses a large variety of telescopes spanning radio, optical, near-infrared, and X-ray wavelengths on the ground and in space. On the ground, these facilities include the Very Large Array, Gemini, MMT and Keck located in New Mexico, Chile, Hawaii and Arizona. In space, she uses NASA’s Swift satellite, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and hopefully soon the James Webb Space Telescope. She is a co-lead on two primary collaborations: SAGUARO with the University of Arizona (a network of telescopes in Southern Arizona) and the F4 FRB collaboration. She is also a member of the FRB collaborations CHIME/FRB and CRAFT/ASKAP.
Wen-fai Fong started her career at Northwestern as a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow (2017 – 2018), joining the CIERA faculty in 2018.