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Physics & Astronomy Colloquium – Spring 2019 – Visbal
March 20 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Eli Visbal
Title: Revealing the First Billion Years of the Universe
Abstract: How the first stars and galaxies formed is an exciting open question in astrophysics and cosmology. Answering this question will shed light on the earliest stages of galaxy evolution and test models of dark matter particle physics. In this talk, I shall discuss how instruments such as the James Webb Space Telescope, 30 meter-class ground based telescopes, and large radio telescopes will soon obtain new data probing stars and galaxies from the first billion years after the Big Bang. I will review cosmological structure formation and theoretical models of the formation of the first stars. Next, I shall describe how hydrogen spectral lines can be used to survey the early Universe and present state-of-the-art predictions of these observables. I will conclude by discussing a major theoretical challenge which must be overcome in order to maximize the scientific return of upcoming observations of the first billion years of the Universe.