Ordinary Meeting

Caltech GROWTH team
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2021 Eddington Lecture - 'Our Dynamic Infrared Sky' 

Prof. Mansi Kasliwal (Caltech)

Our dynamic Universe is adorned by cosmic fireworks: energetic and ephemeral beacons of light that are a million (nova) to a billion (supernova) times brighter than our sun. Fireworks synthesize most elements in our periodic table -- while supernovae synthesize the lighter elements, neutron star mergers synthesize half the elements in the periodic table heavier than iron. I will share with you how we discover cosmic fireworks with robotic telescopes and how we undertake a global, panchromatic follow-up campaign to characterize the astrophysics and astrochemistry. Owing to the nuclear physics of bound-bound opacity, the infrared is the most sensitive probe of the heaviest elements (e.g., Gold, Platinum, Uranium, Neodymium). I will describe a brand new wide-field infrared surveyor, Palomar Gattini-IR, and the next generation WINTER, DREAMS and Cryoscope surveyors. I will also discuss combining information from multiple messengers: light, neutrinos and gravitational waves.

Kasliwal earned her BS in Engineering Physics at Cornell University in 2005 and completed her doctoral work in Astrophysics at Caltech in 2011. After a joint postdoctoral fellowship at Carnegie Observatories and Princeton University, she joined the Caltech faculty in 2015. She was awarded the Packard Fellowship in 2018. As principal investigator of GROWTH (Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen), Kasliwal heads a worldwide network of telescopes for time-domain astronomy.

Book your FREE ticket to the RAS Ordinary Meeting