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Mapping the Radio Universe with the Square Kilometre Array ~ Dr. Steve Cunnington (University of Edinburgh)

Abstract: Cosmologists studying our Universe are faced with some of the most demanding problems in science. Understanding the nature of gravity, dark matter, dark energy and inflation are some of the challenges that lie ahead. I will introduce these concepts and explain why studying the distribution of matter on the largest scales can provide insight into them. I will then outline why we are beginning to enter a golden age for cosmological experiments with aims to map the large-scale structure of the Universe. Radio telescopes provide an efficient means for conducting these experiments by mapping the 21cm wavelength emission from neutral hydrogen. I will provide updates on the progress of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which will be the world’s largest radio telescope and is the main focus of my research. Some stages of this array telescope are already built and operational. I will present some pilot science results from the SKA and explain their importance, along with a discussion on the main challenges.

The Local Group