The Transient Universe: Cosmic Explosions and Dark Energy

Type Ia supernovae have long been used as probes of the expansion history of the universe. Their standardisable luminosities make them very attractive as distance measures, and they remain indispensable in constraining the properties of dark energy. In this talk, I will give an update from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), including the latest cosmological results using type Ia supernovae to measure the dark energy equation-of-state. I’ll also show how large imaging surveys, such as DES, are developing our knowledge of the ‘zoo’ of cosmic explosions, beyond the classical supernova types. I’ll focus on two new classes of explosion: superluminous supernovae, ultra-bright explosions now confirmed out to a redshift of two, and which bring the possibility of measuring distances at higher redshifts than type Ia supernovae; and ‘calcium-rich transients’, faint-and-fast events that play a critical role in chemical enrichment, and have a surprisingly high intrinsic rate. Finally, I will look forward to what the next decade of LSST and massive spectroscopic follow-up may bring.

Cody Hall, AB 107

Mark Sullivan (University of Southampton)

December 12, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm