Past Event

Physics Colloquia: Kendrick Smith (Perimeter Institute)

November 15, 2021
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

"Fast Radio Burst Science Results from CHIME"

Fast radio bursts (FRB's) are a recently discovered, poorly understood class of transient event, and understanding their origin has become a central problem in astrophysics. I will present FRB science results from CHIME, a new interferometric telescope at radio frequencies 400-800 MHz. In the ~3 years since first light, CHIME has found ~20 times more FRB's than all other telescopes combined, including ~60 new repeating FRB's, the first repeating FRB with periodic activity, a giant pulse from a Galactic magnetar which may be an FRB in our own galaxy, and millisecond periodicity in FRB sub-pulses. These results were made possible by new algorithms which can be used to build radio telescopes orders of magnitude more powerful than CHIME. I will briefly describe two upcoming projects: outrigger telescopes for CHIME (starting 2022) and CHORD, a new telescope with ~10 times the CHIME mapping speed (starting 2024).

Kendrick Smith is a cosmologist who is broadly interested in computational problems. He is known for his significant contributions to studies of gravitational lensing and primordial non-Gaussianity in the cosmic microwave background.  He won the 2020 New Horizons in Physics Prize “for the development of novel techniques to extract fundamental physics from astronomical data” and shared the 2018 Breakthrough Prize and the 2012 Gruber Prize as a member of the WMAP team.  Recently, he has been working on transient search algorithms for radio telescopes like CHIME.