Colloquium on 19 May 2016
The LOFAR Reionization Key Science Project: Current Status

Details

Title: The LOFAR Reionization Key Science Project: Current Status
Speaker: Leon Koopmans (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute)
Date: Thursday, 19 May 2016
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Venue: SAAO Auditorium

Abstract

The Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) is currently the most sensitive low frequency array in the world, in part designed to detect the feeble 21-cm emission of neutral hydrogen from redshifts between z=11 and z=6, an era called the “Epoch of Reionization” (EoR). During the EoR the first (Pop III and II) stars not only ionized neutral hydrogen, but also caused radiative/mechanical feedback, enriched the ISM/IGM with metals, formed galaxies and black holes, etc. The EoR forms the foundation for much of what we see in the present-day Universe. I will review the LOFAR EoR Key Science Project that we are currently undertaking to detect this 21-cm emission, to quantify it, and to learn about new physical processes in the infant universe. I will also present the daunting challenges that we are facing, as a lesson learned for SKA.

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