Bay Area Seminar Series - Featuring Dr. Shep Doeleman, Event Horizon Telescope

HanaHaus - 456 University Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301

Free, registration required

Did you see Intersteller? Did you marvel at the simulation of Gargantua?

Shep Doeleman is leading the charge to create a real photograph of super massive black holes using the Event Horizon Telescope. The work was profiled in the New York Times here: Black Hole Hunters

Shep's interests focus on problems in astrophysics that require ultra-high resolving power—the ability to observe fine details of cosmic objects. His research employs the technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), in which widely separated radio dishes are combined to form an Earth-sized virtual telescope. He has used this technique to study the atmospheres of dying stars, as well as stars that are just being born.

His group at MIT has pioneered development of instrumentation that enables VLBI to achieve the greatest resolving power possible from the surface of the Earth. He recently staged a global experiment using these new systems that successfully measured the size of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. He now leads an international collaborative project called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) whose goal is to image the event horizon of a black hole, the boundary where gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape.

This project addresses several fundamental questions about the Universe: Do event horizons exist? Does Einstein's theory of gravity hold near a black hole? How do black holes affect the evolution of galaxies?

Shep will also discuss possible areas of collaboration between the EHT, Silicon Valley and Data Science.

Shep Doeleman received his B.A. from Reed College in 1986, and left soon after for a year in Antarctica where he conducted multiple space-science experiments at McMurdo Station on the Ross Ice Shelf. With an appreciation for the challenges and rewards of instrumental work in difficult circumstances, he returned to complete a Ph.D. in astrophysics at MIT. He is now an Astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Assistant Director of the MIT Haystack Observatory, and leader of the Event Horizon Telescope project.

This event is FREE, but space is limited to 100 people due to the venue. Please register immediately to reserve a spot.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)

HanaHaus - 456 University Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301

Click here to register