15 March 2016, Tuesday, 7:45 PM, Presidio Observation Post, Building 211
“The Violent Universe Observed with the Fermi Telescope”
Amy Furniss, PhD, CSUS East Bay
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was launched into space in June 2008. The main instrument is the Large Area Telescope (LAT). Dr. Furniss will present the Fermi- LAT instrument and highlight its most interesting results after more than seven years of operation.
Gamma-ray observations open a new window into the universe, allowing us the study of exotic and violent processes. These photons are also an important tool in the search for the dark matter that pervades the universe. One expected signal is gamma rays from annihilations of massive dark matter particles, and the LAT has made by far the most sensitive searches for this process. The high-energy sky seen by the Fermi-LAT is quite dynamic, including explosions of massive stars and their remnants and supermassive black holes in the centers of distant galaxies. The Fermi-LAT also enabled the identification of many cosmic particle accelerators, including supernova remnants and active galactic nuclei, which are far more powerful than the largest particle accelerator on Earth, the Large Hadron Collider in Europe.
After completion of her PhD in Physics at UC Santa Cruz in 2013, Dr. Furniss moved into a post doctoral position at Stanford University for 2 years. She is now an Assistant Professor at Cal State University East Bay in Hayward California and continues to collaborate closely with her connections at both UC Santa Cruz and Stanford.