Dearborn Observatory on Northwestern's campus. A shiny dome on top of a white stone building flanked by lush trees

Title: “Illuminating the Origins of Fast Radio Bursts”
Speaker: Wen-fai Fong, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Northwestern University

When: Friday March 4th, 2022 at 3 pm

Where: Zoom

Abstract: When we look up at the night sky, we see a static universe. However, observational surveys have revealed that our universe is dynamic with a myriad of transient events. One of the universe’s most fascinating and fastest explosive transients to come to light over the past decade are fast radio bursts. While fast radio bursts are seemingly connected to highly-magnetized neutron stars and are among the most prolific transients to occur in nature, the precise origins of fast radio bursts remain uncertain. In this talk, I will discuss this population of transients and our quest to understand their origins, primarily through observational studies of their local and host galaxy environments. I will describe our ongoing campaigns with large ground-based telescopes and HST to build legacy samples of their environments and extract crucial information on their host stellar populations. I will also discuss upcoming upgrades to fast radio burst experiments which will provide a flood of new, well-localized discoveries in the near future.