Astro Seminar: "Probing Dark Energy with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME)"

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 14:00 - 16:00
Richard Shaw (University of British Columbia)

CHIME will use the 21cm emission line of neutral hydrogen to map large-scale structure between redshifts of 0.8 and 2.5. By measuring Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAO) we will place constraints on the dark energy equation of state as it begins to dominate the expansion of the Universe, particularly at redshifts poorly probed by current BAO surveys.

In this talk I will introduce CHIME, a transit radio interferometer designed specifically for this purpose. I will discuss its goals and describe the powerful new analysis techniques we have developed to confront the many challenges of such observations, in particular removal of astrophysical foregrounds which are six orders of magnitude larger than the 21cm signal. A smaller 40m x 37m pathfinder telescope is currently operating at the DRAO in Penticton, BC, and the construction of the full-sized 80m x 100m instrument commenced in early 2015. I will report on current progress, and the lessons already learned. 

David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A6