University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

UConn Physics Colloquium

Friday, April 29, 2022
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Storrs Campus

Prof. Jonathan Trump, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut

New Eyes on the Universe: the James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope is one of the most ambitious physics experiments ever conceived by humanity. The $10B space observatory is a collaborative project involving NASA, ESA, CSA, and other international partners and successfully launched on Dec 25, 2021. After a complex unfolding that included over 300 potential (and terrifying) points of failure, the spacecraft is now completing its final deployment steps and is on track to begin science operations in late June of this year. I will describe how my research group will use some of the telescope's first observations to find the very first galaxies and black holes forming in the early Universe. I will also discuss how the telescope's infrared capabilities unveil a new window on the cold Universe, including dust-enshrouded star formation and the atmospheres of (potentially habitable) exoplanets. The James Webb Space Telescope is such an enormous advance for observational astronomy that it is difficult to predict its full impact: much like the (32-yr-old) Hubble Space Telescope, its key science results are likely to include a great many expected discoveries about the physics of the Universe.


Prof. P. Mannheim

Physics Department (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UConn Master Calendar

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