Introductory remarks
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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. D. C. Backer Astronomy Department & Radio Astronomy Laboratory, UC Berkeley. THE UNKNOWN. As we know, There are known knowns . There are things we know we know. We also know There are known unknowns . That is to say We know there are some things

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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

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Introductory remarks

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

D. C. Backer

Astronomy Department &

Radio Astronomy Laboratory, UC Berkeley

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


The unknown

THE UNKNOWN

As we know,

There are known knowns.

There are things we know we know.

We also know

There are known unknowns.

That is to say

We know there are some things

We do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns,

The ones we don't know

We don't know.

Department of Defense news briefing

Feb. 12, 2002

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


Sources time scales generic

Sources & Time Scales -- Generic

  • Gravitational collapse – (G rho)-0.5: e.g., star core ~ 1 s

  • Nuclear – L/Vs: e.g., NS accretion layer ~ 1 km/0.1 c??

  • Electromagnetic – L/c: e.g., PSR GP ~ 1 m/c ~ 3 ns

  • Magnetic – L/VB : e.g., magnetar ~ 1 km/?

  • Electrostatic– L/c : e.g., lightning, EMP

  • Spin/Orbit? – gravity again? – Kepler time

  • Mechanical – L/cs: e.g., neutron star crust

Sites: factories for exotica in globular clusters & MBH galaxy cores,

and also more prosaic environs of compact binaries

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


Calculus

Calculus

  • Density, n = Birth Rate/Volume * Life Time

  • Luminosity Function, dn/dL

  • Flux = Luminosity / 4 pi Distance2

  • Detections = 4/3 pi Distance3 Density(Flux)

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


Pulsars

THE FIRST FOUR

While pursuing her PhD at Cambridge University, Jocelyn Bell’s advisor was Antony Hewish, a radio astronomer. Hewish and his graduate students in 1967 completed a radio telescopespecially designed to observe the scintillation (twinkling) of stars, particularly quasars. That summer, sheobserved an unusual signal at a wavelength of 3.7m -- unusual in that it corresponded to a sharp burst of radio energy at a regular interval of about one second. These were not like signals from other known sources such as stars, galaxies, or solar wind.

Pulsars

While continuing with her actual Ph.D. research, Bell identified a second piece of 'scruff' close to Cassiopea A (itself a supernova remnant) and managed to capture the regular pulses about 1 second apart. This significantly reduced the possibility of distant life, and Bell went back through the miles of chart data that she had accumulated looking for more 'scruff'. She identified two more lots of 'scruff' and several other potential anomalies. These additional discoveries confirmed to Hewish and Bell that this was neither man-made interference, nor was it (probably) alien life, but was some form of emission from these stars.

"We did all the work ourselves and cheerfully sledgehammered all one summer." Burnell and the antenna.

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


Crab staelin reifenstein 1968 science

Crab : Staelin & Reifenstein1968 (Science)

PSR B0531+21 - Crab

PSR B0525+21

P-ALFA: 1/11 found via single pulses

Parkes MB: ~20/800

M31/M33: “tantalizing” – J. Cordes

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


Crab giant pulses

Crab Giant Pulses

Tip detectable out to Virgo cluster!

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


Nature 422 141 143 13 march 2003

Nature422, 141 - 143 (13 March 2003)

Nanosecond radio bursts from strong plasma turbulence in the Crab pulsar

T. H. HANKINS, J. S. KERN, J. C. WEATHERALL & J. A. EILEK

2 ns resolution

at 5 GHz; periodic

frequency structure

ns

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


4c 21 53 a millisecond pulsar b1937 21

4C 21.53 – A Millisecond Pulsar – B1937+21

  • End of 19th Century – photoelectric effect: small anomaly amidst grand edifice of Physics; takeoff point for Einstein & quantum world.

  • Compact, steep-spectrum (high TB) “weird” source in Crab Nebula (Hewish & Okoye c. 1960). “Calibrator” for DB’s MSc project – 20-km, 38-MHz interferometer – summer 1967. Pulsar 9 months later.

  • Hewish scintillation array discovers zone of avoidance for IPS objects along plane – Readhead et al. Anomaly stood out: 4C 21.53. Tony R. told me about this in Fall 1979 at 1d astrophysics mtg at Caltech. I followed up and even wrote a speculative paper about confusing data.

  • Westerbork image at 610 MHz in 1982 confirmed speculations and triggered Arecibo campaign starting with Shri K and Mike D observations in Sep 1982. Seen early as interstellar scintillator.

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


Interstellar scattering 101

Interstellar Scattering 101

Lesson 1: basic physical optics

6.5. Critical Size, Theta_c<l_o/D

Lesson 2: source at finite distance D and screen at xD

2nd Zwicky Workshop - Transients - 05may25


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