Come join us for our monthly Astronomy talk!
7:30pm to 8pm: Social time, come and mingle. We will have snacks and beverages.
Talk begins at 8pm.
Topic: Looking for the First Stars with Satellite TV
Speaker: Deepthi Bhavana Gorthi
The Big Bang theory, which explains the origin of our universe, is very well established today. We now have ample evidence that the universe originated from a hot singularity and cooled over time. There is still a missing piece in this puzzle though- the formation of the first stars! Our current theories predict that the first ever stars in the universe should have formed at a very specific time and over a relatively short period of time (by the universe standards at least). Is this true?
Seeing is believing, but looking for these very first stars is tricky. During my talk I will explain why this difficult and how, finally, we are the brink of discovering them. Currently there are multiple experiments competing with each other to find this "first light". I will talk about the telescope being built by the Astronomy Department at UC, Berkeley- how it is different from the other experiments underway and why I am betting my money on this one.
Deepthi Gorthi is a third year graduate student at the Department of Astronomy in the University of California, Berkeley. For her thesis she is working on building a unique radio telescope in the South African desert of Karoo, to observe the light from the first stars that formed in the universe. She spends most of her research time building circuits, writing programs and doing math. When she’s not working, she likes listening to podcasts (Radiolab is a favorite!), reading books, and playing board games.
Deepthi grew up in the noisy city of Hyderabad in South India and went to undergrad in the starkly contrast, remote university town of Pilani in Rajasthan. Growing up in a culture that values education that can lead to high income professions, it was difficult for her to find the encouragement and resources needed to pursue an esoteric field like astronomy. She moved to America three years ago to pursue her doctoral studies and along with research, she has found an enthusiasm for teaching. She is looking forward to moving back to India after graduate school and implementing the knowledge she has acquired here. She wants to teach radio astronomy to high school students and undergraduates and encourage them to pursue careers in science research.