Fast and Loose - The Mystery of Fast Radio Bursts

Presented by Professor Fred Watson - Astronomer-at-Large, Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

For the past decade or so, the world’s radio astronomers have been baffled by cosmic signals that defy attempts to explain them. Dating from an unrelated trawl through archival data from the Parkes Radio Telescope, the story of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) has now shifted to some of the most advanced radio astronomy facilities in the world. They include ASKAP, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, located in remote Western Australia. But we don’t seem to have progressed very far in our understanding of FRBs. In this fully-illustrated talk, Fred Watson deviates from his lifelong work in optical astronomy to investigate what we are doing to fathom these freaks of the radio Universe. 

Bio: Fred Watson is Australia’s first Astronomer-at-Large, a position within the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. He is graduate of the universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and worked at both of Britain’s Royal Observatories before joining the Australian Astronomical Observatory as Astronomer-in-Charge in 1995. Fred is best known today for his award-winning radio and TV broadcasts, books, music and other outreach ventures. He holds adjunct professorships in several Australian universities, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010. He has an asteroid named after him (5691 Fredwatson), but says that if it hits the Earth, it won't be his fault.


Free – visitors welcome – booking not required

(*Please note – university security locks entrance doors at 8pm sharp*)

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Event info

Wednesday 04 Sep 2019

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Kerr Grant Theatre 2nd Floor, Physics Building, University of Adelaide, North Tce



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