Thursdays, 4:00 pm, Workman 101 (unless noted*)
Physics 579 Graduate Seminar
Dr. Robert Stencel, William Herschel Womble Professor of Astronomy, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Denver
Title: The Role of Interferometry in American Astronomy and Astrophysics
This talk is designed to explore the origins of modern optical-infrared astronomical interferometry in the USA. Linking multiple telescopes can enable spatial resolution thousands of times greater than can be achieved with any single telescope. Precision metrology and computer control facilitate what is possible today, augmented by inspiration from the radio astronomy community's classic experiments, such as the VLA. Since the early results by Albert Michelson in 1920, a series of projects have forged solutions leading up to the potential expressed with the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer (MROI), LIGO and even prospects for interferometer systems in outer space. Some of these pioneering projects, to be discussed, include Mark III, IRMA, IOTA, ISI, NPOI, PTI, CHARA, Keck-I and LBTI. From these historic beginnings, we can begin to anticipate the scientific results soon to be realized with MROI.