What do the early universe and many of our kitchens have in common?
Cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation probably can’t cook your food for you. Still, its subtle heat signature can do something far more exciting: paint a picture of what the early universe looked like just after the Big Bang. Detecting and studying CMB can paint a picture of how the early universe behaved. However, the 14 billion-year-old signals are very faint, and detecting them is not easy. The South Pole Telescope (SPT) team uses highly sensitive, purposefully designed receivers to suss out exactly what took place in the cosmos so many years ago.
Dr. Amy Bender is an experimental cosmologist, part of the SPT team, and the fourth speaker in our Celebrating 75 years at Argonne National Laboratory series. Dr. Bender has voyaged to the South Pole six times to deploy highly specialized CMB detectors at the telescope that resides there. She designs and builds the instruments used to measure the leftover heat from the Big Bang, and helps us understand the mysteries of our universe!
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