The End of the Universe's Dark Ages

Speaker:Prof. Saleem Zaroubi
Affiliation:Groningen (The Netherlands) and Physics-Technion
Organizer:Eric Akkerman
Location:Lidow Rosen Auditorium (323)
Abstract:The Epoch of Reionization, which marks the end of the Universe's
"Dark Ages", is one of the least explored epochs in cosmic evolution.
During this epoch, the all-pervasive cosmic gas transforms from neutral
to ionized. The Epoch of Reionization is thought to be caused by the
first astrophysical sources of radiation and its study is crucial to our
understanding of the physics of these sources and how they influenced
the formation of later generations of astrophysical objects.
To explore this pivotal epoch a number of radio telescopes are being build
or designed (LOFAR, MWA, 21CMA, SKA) to observe the 21-cm hyperfine
emission line of neutral hydrogen from the intergalactic medium during
cosmic reionization. In this talk I'll review our current understanding
of this epoch and describe how it will observed with Radio telescopes and
what we hope to learn from it.