Reconstructing the Inaccessible Cosmic Dawn

TUE, DEC 6, 2022 (31:25)

About 400,000 years after the Big Bang, the dark universe cooled enough that particles were able to form the first atoms (hydrogen, helium), and then light. This is known as the “reionization” era. It is the most important period to astrophysicists because features and conditions in the reionization, including dark matter, determined the evolution of the universe. But this early epoch is inaccessible to telescopes. Astrophysicists devise very complex models to test their theories of the reionization and formation of the earliest galaxies. Dr. Vogelsberger, known for some of the most accurate simulations of the earliest galaxy formations, describes the Thesan project he developed with other scientists at MIT, Harvard University, and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. This is of particular interest now that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will eventually be able to site these earliest formations. Dr. Vogelsberger will also discuss other related simulation projects.

+ BIO: Mark Vogelsberger, Ph.D

Mark Vogelsberger is distinguished for his pioneering simulations of the early universe. He has been the main architect of the Illustris simulation, one of the most detailed galaxy formation simulations to date containing more than 40,000 galaxies whose properties closely match observational data.

Dr. Vogelsberger received his Ph.D from the University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in 2010.. In 2009 he won the Rudolf Kippenhahn Prize for his thesis work. He was an ITC postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics from 2009-2012, and a Hubble fellow from 2012-2013. In 2014, Dr. Vogelsberger joined the MIT physics faculty as Assistant Professor. In 2016 he won an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in Physics. Professor Vogelsberger was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018.

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