Saturday Invited Talks

Invited Speakers

Space Astronomy in 2012

Jonathan McDowell

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

The flood of new discoveries from our space telescopes continues unabated.  I’ll talk about the active observatories carving out different chunks of the electromagnetic spectrum, and the different kinds of
astrophysics we learn from them, from Spektr-R in the radio to Fermi
in the gamma-ray band. I’ll go into some more detail about the Chandra
observatory, whose control center is in nearby Cambridge, MA, and then preview the missions we hope will fly in the coming years, including the James Webb Space Telescope.

Broad Band, High Resolution X-Ray Spectroscopy Using Microcalorimeters

Spin-Offs from Astrophysics Research

Eric Silver

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

High resolving power, a bandwidth that can span 0.1-120 keV and low internal background are the hallmarks of cryogenic X-ray microcalorimeters. Originally developed for spectroscopy of cosmic X-ray and gamma ray sources such as black holes, supernova remnants and clusters of galaxies, we are now using microcalorimeters for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications on Earth. These include fundamental physics measurements of highly charged ions produced in laboratory plasmas and heavy ion accelerators as well as industrial and medical applications where high resolution X-ray spectroscopy is important to materials and chemical analysis.  I will discuss the important features of our detector technology and review some of our recent experimental results.