Unveiling the Mysteries of the Early Universe with Modern Super Radio Telescopes

Presentation by Nicolas Fagnoni, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge.

The University of Cambridge and the Cavendish Laboratory are closely involved in the design and development of two new radio-telescopes: the ‘Square Kilometre Array’ (SKA) and the ‘Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array’ (HERA). Using different approaches, these two radio-interferometers in particular are going to study the formation of the first structures of the early universe, by measuring the evolution of the distribution of the neutral hydrogen present in the intergalactic medium. Thus, it will be possible to probe a period between 115 million and 1.3 billion years after the Big Bang for HERA, and even up to 2.1 billion years for the SKA.

In this presentation, Fagnoni gives a brief overview of these two radio-telescopes, and explain how we used electromagnetic simulations to design these antennas before building the prototypes for validation.