Bold Ideas in Physics

The Square Kilometer Array:

Big Telescope, Big Science, Big Data Lecture

Russ Taylor

Delivered January 23, 2017, Georgia Institute of Technology

For more information and a link to stream a video of the lecture, click here.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a next-generation global radio telescope undergoing final design by a collaboration of institutions in 11 countries. One of the largest scientific projects ever undertaken, the SKA is designed to answer some of the big questions of our time: What is dark energy? Was Einstein right about gravity? What is the nature of dark matter? When and how did the first stars and galaxies form? What was the origin of cosmic magnetic fields? How do Earth-like planets form? Is there life, intelligent or otherwise, elsewhere in the universe?

The radio astronomer Russ Taylor is the Director of the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy and the Chair of the South African Joint Research in Radio Astronomy of the University of Cape Town and the University of Western Cape.

Russ Taylor has played a leading role on Square Kilometre Array Project since its inception, as co-author of the first science case for the project and the founding chair of the International SKA Science Advisory Committee. Taylor was also the co-principal investigator on the VSOP space mission, an international partnership that launched into space a radio telescope for Very Long Baseline Interferometry imaging between Earth and space.