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Revealing the History of the Universe with 21 cm Cosmology

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Monday, February 20, 2023
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Ruby Byrne
Duke Physics Colloquium

Measurement of the highly redshifted 21 cm emission line from neutral hydrogen has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the universe's evolution. These measurements would map the universe's structure during the Dark Ages, Cosmic Dawn, and Epoch of Reionization, when stars and galaxies first formed and ionized the intergalactic medium. They would reveal the effect of Dark Energy throughout cosmic history, probe the dynamics of early galaxy evolution, and constrain Dark Matter interactions. However, 21 cm cosmology experiments have not yet overcome the challenges that will allow them to achieve their potential. In particular, these experiments struggle to separate the faint cosmological signal from intervening foreground emission that is 4-5 orders of magnitude brighter. I discuss recent progress constraining the 21 cm signal at high redshift and highlight new analysis techniques that offer a pathway to success for 21 cm cosmology experiments.