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Fast Radio Bursts, GPUs, and the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere
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Update time: 2017-07-12
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Title: Fast Radio Bursts, GPUs, and the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere 

Speaker: Dr. Chris Flynn(Swinburne University of Technology Hawthorn, Australia) 

Location: Lecture Hall, 3rd floor 

Time: July 20th (Thursday) 15:00  

Abstract:  

  The UTMOST project is the Swinburne University / University of Sydney / ANU upgrade of the Molonglo Radio Synthesis Telescope, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. By installing new receivers and a bank of GPUs - aka video games machines - we have increased the the bandwidth by a factor of ~5, the field of view by a factor of ~4, and given it much higher time and spectral resolution -- all in order to find Fast Radio Bursts. FRBs are bright, very short (few ms) bursts at radio wavelengths, known to be of celestial origin, but otherwise quite mysterious. If they are at cosmological distances, as seems likely, they will allow us to probe the Intergalactic Medium in completely new ways, quite apart from the puzzle over what they are. To date, no FRB has been seen at other than radio wavelengths, and finding a host galaxy for an FRB remains a major challenge, to which UTMOST could be the key. I will report on the commissioning which is ongoing and science operations which are well underway, with timing of over 300 pulsars weekly and our first Fast Radio Burst discoveries. 

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