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The Universe, Seen in the (Far-)Far-Infrared

Joaquin Vieira, UIUC
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 3:30pm
PAT C-421

I will present an overview of observations, technologies, and facilities observing the evolution of the Universe in the (far-)infrared, from 2 to 2000 microns (um) in wavelength. I will begin with current efforts to study the cosmic microwave background (CMB, 1000-4000um), the relic radiation left over from the Big Bang. I will present an overview of the rich scientific questions currently being pursued by CMB experiments, which ties together the most disparate scales possible in science: quantum mechanics and cosmology; the beginning of the universe to the present day. I will transition to studies of high-redshift galaxy evolution with the Atacama Large millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA 450-3000um) and the present future with the James Webb Space Telescope (2-30um). Understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies is one of the foremost goals of astrophysics and cosmology today and these facilities are, and will be, providing exciting new insights into these key questions. The far-infrared (50-500um) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum provides a unique window into the evolution of the Universe and, while difficult, far-infrared spectroscopy is crucial for studies of the interstellar medium, galaxy evolution, and the high-redshift Universe. I will also discuss new instruments on the ground and in space which will significantly expand our discovery reach with the (far-)infrared into the coming decades.