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From the Cosmic Dawn to the Epoch of Reionization: a Radio Quest for Neutral Hydrogen in the Infant Universe
Leon Koopmans (University of Groningen)
Thursday 14/02/2019 @ 11:30, Sala IV piano Battiferro
Detection of the redshifted 21-cm signal of neutral hydrogen from the Cosmic Dawn and Epoch of Reionization (EoR) promises a new avenue to study physical processes of early star and galaxy formation during the first billion years of the Universe. These eras form the foundation of our present-day observable universe. The quest for a detection of this 21-cm signal has been exceedingly hard with current radio telescopes, and has not yet been achieved, although steady progress is being made. I will give an overview of what can be learned from observing these early phases of the infant Universe as well as a broad overview of ongoing experiments aiming to detect this feeble signal. In particular, I will provide a status update on the LOFAR EoR Key Science project and the challenges that it and other similar projects are facing. I will show that considerable progress has been made in the last years, but that not all challenges have yet been met. I will end by introducing several exciting new projects that we have recently started, to observe the Cosmic Dawn and the Dark Ages, and give a glimpse of future opportunities with the SKA and HERA.