Illuminating the Origins of the Universe’s Fastest Explosions

When we look at the night sky, we see a static universe. However, astronomical observational surveys have revealed that our universe is, in fact, ever-changing. This “transient” sky is owed to a myriad of cosmic events. While many sources of transient emission have been traced to their origins, there are a few classes of cosmic explosions which have thus far eluded us. In this talk, Dr. Fong will discuss two classes of captivating contributors to our dynamic sky which occur in the blink of an eye: short gamma-ray bursts and fast radio bursts. She will also describe how she uses time-critical observations in the race to understand their origins. These events represent unique laboratories to study the launching of powerful jets, the production of heavy elements, the emission of gravitational waves, and most importantly, the unknown.

Guest Speaker

Wen-fai Fong

Assistant Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University

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