Joint CAMS Colloquium / Probability and Statistics Seminar: Capturing the First Image of a Black Hole & Designing the Future of Black Hole Imaging

Friday, September 11, 2020 at 3:30pm to 4:30pm

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Katherine Bouman, Caltech

Abstract: This talk will present the methods and procedures used to produce the first image of a black hole from the Event Horizon Telescope, as well as discuss future developments for black hole imaging. It had been theorized for decades that a black hole would leave a "shadow" on a background of hot gas. Taking a picture of this black hole shadow would help to address a number of important scientific questions, both on the nature of black holes and the validity of general relativity. Unfortunately, due to its small size, traditional imaging approaches require an Earth-sized radio telescope. In this talk, I discuss techniques the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration has developed to photograph a black hole using the Event Horizon Telescope, a network of telescopes scattered across the globe. Imaging a black hole’s structure with this computational telescope required us to reconstruct images from sparse measurements, heavily corrupted by atmospheric error. The talk will also discuss future developments, including new imaging techniques and how we are developing machine learning methods to help design future telescope arrays.

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Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop

Department
Mathematics
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