PAPER (The Precise Array to Probe the Epoch of Reionization)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

As stars began to form billions of years ago, they left behind a trail of light. Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy James Aguirre is following that trail all the way back to the birth of the first galaxies. With the help of his colleagues, he developed a special telescope known as PAPER (the Precision Array to Probe theEpoch of Reionization), which acts as a sort of super FM radio. PAPER allows Aguirre’s team to use electric field recordings to measure almost all of the sky visible in the southern hemisphere. The array, made up of 128 antennas, is housed in the South African desert where outside signals can’t interfere with testing.