Gary Sanders - Thirty Meter Telescope

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 12:30pm
Pupin Hall Theory Center, 8th Floor


"The Thirty Meter Telescope: A Next Generation Optical/Infrared Giant Telescope and Perspectives on Global Projects, Impacts on Native Cultures and the US Extremely Large Telescope Program"

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will provide unprecedented light collection and diffraction-limited resolution for discovery class astronomy and exoplanet science. Using the filled-aperture, finely segmented primary mirror technology pioneered by the Keck telescopes, TMT will operate at first light with laser guidestar assisted multi-conjugate adaptive optics. TMT is being constructed by a global partnership of Canada, China, India, Japan, California Institute of Technology and the University of California. The preferred TMT location is on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, a superb site for optical/infrared astronomy. Native Hawaiian opposition to activities on Mauna Kea has delayed on-site construction of TMT but these challenges have been denied by the Hawaii Supreme Court. On-site construction is expected to commence this year. TMT, together with the Giant Magellan Telescope to be constructed in Chile, and the US National Optical Astronomy Observatory is preparing a joint program, the US Extremely Large Telescope Program (USELTP) for consideration by the National Academy decadal survey of astronomy and astrophysics.

About the speaker

Gary Sanders spent 25 years performing high-energy physics experiments at laboratories in the United States and Europe. He earned a BA degree in physics from Columbia University and a PhD in high-energy physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been a faculty member in physics at Princeton University and a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 1994, Gary came to Caltech to serve as the Project Manager and Deputy Director for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project. Gary joined TMT as its Project Manager in 2004. He is the author or a co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and he has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

More details on Gary's research can be found here.