Professor Bryan Gaensler Visits Department as Whitford Lecturer

Apr 13, 2016

Professor Bryan Gaensler, Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, is joining the UW Astronomy Department this week as the department’s Spring Whitford Lecturer. As part of his visit, Gaensler will be holding a talk on Thursday, April 14th from 3:30-5pm in 4421 Sterling Hall.

The talk, entitled Radio Polarimetry and Cosmic Magnetism will explore the complex origin of large-scale magnetic fields that 20th century astronomers found to be threaded throughout the Universe. Since these magnetic fields are most commonly aligned in a surprisingly well-organized structure, researchers would like to understand the processes that created and stabilized the magnetic fields.

During his talk, Gaensler will present novel observations of radio polarization and Faraday rotation—which occurs when magnetic fields rotate the polarization of the interloping light. Using this data, Gaensler will be able to provide valuable insight regarding the large-scale magnetic fields present in interstellar gas, the Milky Way, and distant galaxies.

In addition to working as Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Gaensler is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Toronto, the Canadian Research Chair, and the Canadian Science Director for the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).

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