Speaker Night – The Mystery of Fast Radio Bursts
June 23 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
For over a decade enigmatic, extragalactic flashes called fast radio bursts (FRBs) have defied a definitive explanation for their origin. Lasting a fraction of a second but releasing more energy than our sun does over several days, these highly energetic events can be detected out to cosmological distances. Although surprisingly abundant, occurring somewhere on the sky at least once every minute, their detection is non-trivial and requires specialized radio telescopes with digital systems that are capable of sifting through terabytes of data on subsecond timescales. One of the premier instruments for detecting these events is the FRB survey operating on Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME/FRB). Detecting FRBs at an unparalleled rate of a few per day, CHIME/FRB has accumulated thousands of FRB detections in only its first few years of operations. After a brief overview of the CHIME/FRB instrument, I will summarize some of the key discoveries made from these observations. I will detail how such a large sample of detections has not only enabled a statistical study of the FRB population as whole but also provided a subsample of special events that are particularly informative for the nature of these mysterious sources.
Bio: Dr. Ryan Mckinven completed his PhD at University of Toronto and is now a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University. He works within the CHIME/FRB collaboration on the detection and analysis of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), specializing on the analysis of polarized signals of FRB sources and helping oversee the daily operations of the instrument.
This meeting is being held on Zoom only.