HYBRID: Lighthouses in the Sky: How observations of dense stars with huge telescopes make Einstein curious?

A lecture in the "Physics & Pizza" series (held in English)

Mo, 06.05.2024 18:15  –   Mo, 06.05.2024 19:15
Dr. Vivek Venkatraman Krishnan, Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
Magnus-Haus Berlin
Am Kupfergraben 7, 10117 Berlin, Germany

also to be followed ONLINE
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Andreas Böttcher, , 030/201748-0
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This lecture will be held in presence at Magnus-Haus and can be followed online at the same time. Use the links above to register your attendance in person on site or to receive access data for online attendance. No admission after the start of the event. Please do not participate if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection (cold symptoms).

Topic: Pulsars are exotic remnants of very large stars that have reached the end of their life cycle. Their extremely stable rotation can be observed by counting the radio 'pulses' emitted along their magnetic poles, making them cosmic clocks that at times even rival the best atomic clocks on Earth. Pulsars have densities far beyond nuclear densities, and if they are in binary systems, they serve as excellent probes of ultra-dense matter and the behavior of gravity in the strong field regime, where the self-energies of the gravitating bodies are no longer negligible. Due to their comparatively low luminosities, most pulsar science requires the use of large radio telescopes. In this talk, I will provide an introduction to pulsars and the technique of pulsar timing, introduce the telescopes used to observe them, and highlight some recent scientific achievements in the field. I will conclude by discussing some of the open questions in the field that young researchers can contribute to in the near future.

CV: Dr. Vivek Venkatraman Krishnan completed his PhD at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia in 2019. His thesis title was “Gravitational dynamics of a relativistic binary pulsar and a probe of radio pulsar intermittency”. His work was recognized as part of the University’s vice chancellor award for research excellence for that year. He later joined the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, where-in he co-led the program on understanding gravity and supra-nuclear densities via observations of binary pulsars with the MeerKAT telescope. He received the European Research Council starting grant in 2022 to work on finding exotic binary pulsar systems that will help further our understanding of gravity. He started this project in May 2023 and he is currently a group leader at the MPIfR.

Following the lecture, there will be a get-together where participants can exchange ideas with each other over pizza and drinks in the Remise and the garden of the Magnus-Haus.

The event is sponsored by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation.