Searching for Gravitational Waves from the Very Beginning of the Universe

报告人: Meng Su 苏萌 (MIT)

报告时间: 2016年3月31日 14:00

报告地点: South 727, Mong Man-wei Science Technology Building (蒙民伟科技南楼S727)

Abstract: Direct detection of gravitational waves by LIGO opens up the new era of gravitational wave astronomy. However, another type of gravitational waves produced during inflation echo in the very beginning of the Universe has yet been detected. The most sensitive approach searching this primordial gravitational waves is by observing the polarization of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Several dedicated CMB experiments have been operating or under construction at the South Pole Station and the Atacama desert in Chile, in particular the BICEP series of experiment have been the most sensitive and successful experiment for this purpose. We have proposed to build the first Chinese CMB experiment at the Ali Observatory in Tibet. The goal is to open up the northern sky not accessible to any other site to search for primordial gravitational waves. I will talk about the current status of this project.

Bio: Dr. Meng Su is currently a joint Pappalardo/Einstein Fellow at the Department of Physics and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), since 2012. He received his Bachelor degree in Physics from Peking University in 2007, and earned his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Harvard University in 2012. Dr. Su is interested broadly in cosmology and high energy astrophysics. He worked with Prof. Matias Zaldarriaga on various topics in cosmology, and with Prof. John Kovac on BICEP, an experiment at the South Pole searching for signatures of primordial gravitational waves on the Cosmic Microwave Background, and finally with Prof. Douglas Finkbeiner and Tracy Slatyer, Dr. Su has discovered a giant gamma-ray bubble structure in the Milky Way (named, "Fermi Bubble"), which has been selected as one of the top ten physics-related news in 2011 by the American Physical Society. Dr. Su was awarded the 2014 Rossi Prize (along with Finkbeiner and Slatyer) for their discovery of the Fermi Bubble, by the AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division.