Support of the Astronomical Research in the Cavendish Astrophysics Group

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

This research is aimed at undertaking and answering fundamental questions about the universe and its history. At the same time we will develop new techniques and instruments to help answer future questions. We address many of the frontier questions in astrophysics. These include: how did the universe get to be how it is? What were the processes that led to the development of the largest structures in the universe? What were the seed conditions that led to galaxies and clusters of galaxies existing today? We can study these questions by looking at the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), radio waves which were emitted soon after the 'Big Bang'. Part of our work is to study the waves to find the imprints of structure formed in the first fraction of a second of the universe's existence. We can also find the earliest forming clusters of galaxies by looking for the 'shadows' they cast on the CMBR. Big advances in astronomy come from the introduction of new techniques, and we want to continue to pioneer the application of the technique of interferometry. This imaging technique was initially developed in our group of radio astronomy, but we are now developing it for astronomy at visible wavelengths. This work will complete the development of an interferometer which will be able to see details in stars and the centres of galaxies which cannot be seen in any other way. We also aim to advance the use of interferometry in radio astronomy by developing techniques to allow interferometric telescopes to observe more of the sky at a given time. This has applications in a wide range of astronomy research. We aim to answer fundamental questions about how stars are formed, by using instruments which can see large numbers of stars at early stages of formation. We also plan to use telescopes which are coming on line in the next few years to see the formation of stars and planets in other solar systems in unprecedented detail. By using data from recently developed telescopes, we will start looking at how magnetic fields are structured in galaxies and within clusters of galaxies. This will allow us to look at the role played by magnetism in these regions.

Publications

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Ade, PAR (2007) Tests of finline-coupled TES bolometers for ClOVER in 2007 JOINT 32ND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INFRARED AND MILLIMETER WAVES AND 15TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TERAHERTZ ELECTRONICS, VOLS 1 AND 2

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ALBINSON JS (1986) NEUTRAL HYDROGEN TOWARDS 3C10, THE REMNANT OF TYCHO SUPERNOVA in MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

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Alexander P (2006) Models of young powerful radio sources in MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

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Alexander P. (2005) Mid-IR properties of young radio-selected AGN in ESA Special Publication

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AMI Consortium (2012) Arcminute Microkelvin Imager observations of unmatched Planck ERCSC LFI sources at 15.75 GHz? in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

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AMI Consortium (2009) An excess of emission in the dark cloud LDN 1111 with the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

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Arcaute E (2008) Wave-Functions for Spin-3/2 and Integer Spin Fields in Advances in Applied Clifford Algebras

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Arcaute E (2008) Twistors in Geometric Algebra in Advances in Applied Clifford Algebras

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Arcaute, E.,Lasenby, A.,Doran, C. (2006) A representation of twistors within geometric (Clifford) algebra

 
Description This grant supported the astrophysics research of the Astrophysics Group at the Cavendish Laboratory. As a result of the award a wide variety of astrophysical results were obtained which have been published in a series of papers. In addition to the impact on the astrophysics a number of technical results have wider impact. Most notably these include the development of advanced Bayesian Inference technologies which have wide applicability including in the financial services industry. The software has been made publicly available.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Other
Impact Types Societal

 
Description EC FP6 III
Amount £74,992 (GBP)
Funding ID r113-ct-2004-001566 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Title Geometric (Clifford) Algebras 
Description Coming out of my work on Geometric (Clifford) Algebras, a technology start-up was created in Cambridge, called Geomerics. This specialises in application of novel mathematical and computational techniques in the field of computer graphics, and currently employs around 14 people. It was founded in 2006. Some specific outputs are a new method for carrying out 'lighting' in computer games, including several popular titles. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None 
 
Description EMU 
Organisation Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Country Australia, Commonwealth of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution EMU is a proposed radio sky survey project, designed to use the new ASKAP telescope to make a deep (~10µJy rms) radio survey covering the entire Southern Sky (perhaps as far North as 30°. It can be characterised as a "Southern NVSS", except that it will have about 40 times the sensitivity of the NVSS. As a result, it will be able to probe typical star forming galaxies up to a redshift of 1 (i.e. looking back in time to about half the age of the Universe) and the most extreme starbursts to even greater redshifts. Quasars and galaxies hosting massive black holes will be seen right out near the edge of the observable Universe, where the first massive black holes were born. Perhaps even more importantly, EMU will almost certainly uncover new classes of object.
Collaborator Contribution The project was one of 39 competing to use ASKAP. Expressions of Interest were solicited in November 2008, and selected proposals (including EMU) invited to submit a full proposal by 15 June 2009. EMU was ranked equal top (with WALLABY) of the projects, and so has been invited to play a significant role in ensuring that ASKAP is built and operated to maximise the science return. Potential participants are invited to join the team, and will then have the opportunity to participate in designing the parameters and processes of the survey, and the commissioning and quality control.
Impact All radio data from the survey will be placed in the public domain as soon the data quality has been checked. An integral part of the proposed project will be to identify sources with other wavelengths, and produce public-domain VO-accessible catalogs of these and other "added-value" data products.
Start Year 2008
 
Description LOFAR-UK 
Organisation Royal Observatory Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The LOw Frequency ARray, LOFAR,is a radio telescope working at the lowest frequencies accessible from Earth. Combining many thousands of simple dipole receivers (just like the one in your radio at home) with the latest in high tech computing, LOFAR will be able to survey wide areas of the sky all at once and will open up a new window for astronomers. When completed, LOFAR will consist of over 5,000 separate antennas spread in "stations" all over Europe. The main project is based in the Netherlands, and most of the array will be there, but outposts are planned in Germany, France, Sweden, Poland and the UK. Several stations are now working, and the array was officially opened in June 2010.
Collaborator Contribution As above
Impact As above
Start Year 2007
 
Description LOFAR-UK 
Organisation University of Southampton
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The LOw Frequency ARray, LOFAR,is a radio telescope working at the lowest frequencies accessible from Earth. Combining many thousands of simple dipole receivers (just like the one in your radio at home) with the latest in high tech computing, LOFAR will be able to survey wide areas of the sky all at once and will open up a new window for astronomers. When completed, LOFAR will consist of over 5,000 separate antennas spread in "stations" all over Europe. The main project is based in the Netherlands, and most of the array will be there, but outposts are planned in Germany, France, Sweden, Poland and the UK. Several stations are now working, and the array was officially opened in June 2010.
Collaborator Contribution As above
Impact As above
Start Year 2007
 
Description NMT System Architects 04/2006-03/2011 
Organisation New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Department Physics Department
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Overall design and technical leadership of deployment team. Joint authorship of papers Experimental investigations Hosting NMT staff for visits
Collaborator Contribution Joint authorship of papers Delivery, installation of hardware Experimental investigations Hosting team staff in New Mexico
Impact Academic research Co-authorship of publications Construction of equipment Engineering/technical/scientific leadership Research funding Student/post-doc training of US collaborators
Start Year 2006
 
Description ALMA Royal Society Summer Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Exhibition show for a 5 day long exhibition at the Royal Society. The exhibition is in London but school groups and members of the public from across the country attended.

We produced some videos explaining about ALMA and life as astronomers, which we posted online. We presented ALMA interactively to an audience of 12000 members of the public over a 7 days period.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Alumni talks 2009/2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Typically 60 non-scientific & scientific attendees with families. Questions afterwards and meet and greet sessions.

Philanthropic funding to teaching institute
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2013
 
Description BBC Radio 4 Material World 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Live science show with Quentin Cooper, invited to discuss science with ALMA

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description BBC Sky at Night 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact 2012 - Invited to discuss infrared astronomy and ALMA
2006 - Invited to discuss science with the HARP spectrometer on the JCMT.

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2012
 
Description BBC World Service Interview on ALMA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact World Service interview on ALMA

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description CUAS Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Popular talk with questions and answer session at end. Talk to local undergraduate Astronomical Society.

Raised profile of astronomical research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description CUAS talks (2008) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact 50 undergraduate students attended. Pre-talk and post-talk discussions in restaurant and pub with attendees

Enhanced interests in astronomy careers and research for audience. Recruitment for post graduate students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Cambridge Science Festival Open Day 2013: presented ALMA display to several hundred members of the general public

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description French World Service Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact French World Service interview on ALMA

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Herschel and Planck Exhibit (London 2009) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 10,000 visitors to the exhibition had the opportunity to talk to scientists involved with Herschel and Planck about their work

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Institute of Astronomy Public Talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Two public talks at the Institute of Astronomy open evenings: audience of about 150-200 members of the public.

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011
 
Description Kavli Lecture of the American Astronomical Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Kavli Lecture of the American Astronomical Society. Elected an Honorary Member of the American Astronomical Society.

Elected an Honorary Member of the American Astronomical Society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Media Tour of ESO Chilean Observatories 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Media tour of ESO Chilean observatories with UK Science Journalists: A staff member accompanied a large group of UK mainstream science journalists to the Paranal and ALMA Observatories in Chile to act as scientific guide in 2007.

Resulted in a large number of broadsheet and tabloid press articles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Naked Scientists Podcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Discussion on science with submm astronomy

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Newspaper and Magazine Interviews 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Numerous interviews with major newspapers and magazines relating to ALMA science and press releases

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011
 
Description Night School Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Seminar with questions and answer session at end

Raised profile of astronomical research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Papworth Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Talk to local village Astronomical Society. Popular talk with questions and answer session at end.

Raised profile of astronomical research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Physics Centre Talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Popular talk with questions and answer session at end for 300 students each time.

Raised profile of astronomical research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2012
 
Description Physics at Work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talks on current astrophysical research to attendees at "Physics at Work" Exhibition. Part of Department's Physics at Work outreach programme. Talks with question and answers afterwards to groups of about 15.

Raised profile of Physics at Work
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
 
Description Planck Display 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Answered many questions from visitors about Planck, which had been in the national and international news 2 days earlier.

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Radio interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Listeners to the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Drivetime programme

Raised research awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Sutton Trust Summer Schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Tour of Observatory, with informal talks, and questions and answer sessions, for about 20 sixth form students each year. Lecture on current astronomical research related to the Cosmic Microwave Background to Sutton Trust Summer School students.

Raised profile of astronomical research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
 
Description Television appearance for SKA and ALMA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Appearance by Alexander and Cambridge SKA team on a regionally commissioned TV short feature on research at Cambridge and featuring the SKA and ALMA.

National TV reach explaining research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Tours of Observatory 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The astrophysics group provides regular tours of the observatory for schools and other interested groups by appointment. Tours are operated by a senior member of staff and one or more graduate students acting as guides.

Impact on visitors explaining our research
Impact on schools encouragement to participate in science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,