Space Sciences/Astrophysics Seminar with Casey DeRoo on Developing Technologies for X-ray Astrophysics
The field of X-ray astronomy is relatively young, with the first detection of an extrasolar X-ray source happening only ~60 years ago. Since then, a number of instruments have illuminated (or rather, been illuminated by) the X-ray Universe, giving us insights into high energy phenomena like accreting black holes, supernovae, and outflows from active galactic nuclei (AGN).
In this talk, DeRoo will focus on the instruments that make X-ray astronomy possible. In particular, he will focus on two technologies under study at the University of Iowa: (1) the manufacture of customized gratings made with electron-beam lithography (EBL), which requires shaping features < 100 nm in size, and (2) the fabrication and operation of adjustable X-ray optics, which offer control of a X-ray mirror’s figure after mounting. These technologies enable missions addressing outstanding questions of how the Universe works on the largest scales, such as how supermassive black holes interact with their host galaxies over cosmic time and where half of the “missing” normal matter might be located.
Sponsored by the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences.