Ballooning, Antarctica, and the Baby Pictures of our Universe
The glow of the hot early universe is "visible" today as a hum of radio waves filling the sky – the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Studies of the faint patterns in this glow continue to bring unparalleled insights into our universe’s history and composition. To capture these faint signals, cosmologists must develop ever more sensitive instruments, and deploy them to some of the most remote observing sites on and above the Earth. I will give a tour of CMB science and cosmic history and discuss my team’s adventure last December flying our newest CMB telescope, SPIDER, over Antarctica on a stadium-sized balloon.
- SPIDER’s balloon: 435 feet diameter
- State Farm Center dome: 400 feet diameter
- Memorial Stadium: 435 x 560 feet (main level stands)
Learn more about Professor Jeffrey Filippini on the Physics website: https://physics.illinois.edu/people/directory/profile/jpf
High school students can also register for this event here: https://enroll.illinois.edu/register/saturday_physics_12_2_2023