Pulsars, flickers and cosmic flashes

duncan lorimerDuncan Lorimer, professor of physics and astronomy at West Virginia University, will deliver two lectures, May 4 and 5, as part of the ISTeC Distinguished Lecture series, presented in conjunction with the departments of Statistics, Physics, Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Both events are free and open to the entire campus community.

At 11 a.m. on Monday, Lorimer will talk about “Pulsars, Flickers and Cosmic Flashes: The Transient Radio Universe” in the Morgan Library Event Hall. His talk will be preceded by a reception with refreshments at 10:30 a.m.

Both pulsars and fast radio bursts have great promise at probing the universe on large scales and in fundamental ways. This talk will describe the science opportunities these phenomena present, and discuss the challenges and opportunities presented in their discovery.

Special seminar

At 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Lorimer will discuss “Fast Radio Bursts” in Clark A103, with reception and refreshments at 3:30 p.m.

This special seminar explores fast radio bursts, intense, brief flashes of highly dispersed radio waves that represent a new astrophysical phenomenon whose origin is currently unknown. Lorimer will review the properties of these objects and describe some of the most popular theories, which range between giant solar flares to compact binary coalescences at cosmological distances, and will look ahead to the exciting prospects that may be possible in the next five years.

Lorimer, originally from England, earned his Ph.D. in radio astronomy in 1994 from the University of Manchester. Following a lectureship at Manchester, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, and a staff scientist at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. He returned to the UK as a Royal Society Research Fellow at Manchester. Since 2006, he’s been at WVU where he teaches and carries out research with his students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

ISTeC (Information Science and Technology Center) is a university-wide organization for promoting, facilitating, and enhancing CSU’s research, education, and outreach activities pertaining to the design and innovative application of computer, communication, and information systems. ISTeC.ColoState.EDU.