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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 7:30pm to 8:45pm
Rockefeller Hall, Schwartz Auditorium
Bethe Public Lecture, Professor Suzanne Staggs, Henry deWolf Smyth Professor of Physics, Princeton University.
Title: Looking Backwards with the Cosmic Microwave Background
Abstract: The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is leftover radiation from the big bang. The universe was only 400,000 years old when the CMB was released. It is nearly 14 billion years old now. Maps of the CMB carry clues about the fundamental nature of the universe – its ingredients, its history, its dynamics and what causes them, and even clues about physics itself. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is a 6m telescope with a camera that operates at 0.1 degrees above absolute zero. ACT measures the CMB from a desert site in Northern Chile at 17,000 ft elevation. I will describe our current understanding of cosmology and the CMB, and give an insider’s view of the ACT instrument and the joys of working with it.