The James Webb Space Telescope and the complex lives of galaxies
Saturday 24 September 2022, 2.30pm to 3.30pm BST
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the largest and most powerful space telescope ever built. It will allow us to peer back in time over 13 billion years, to when the Universe was only a few hundred million years old. Its spectacular first images and spectra were released in July this year, making headline news worldwide. But these are only the start of the amazing scientific discoveries that will be uncovered during the mission’s lifetime.
Join Professors Roberto Maiolino and Debora Sijacki and Dr Sandro Tacchella at this engaging panel discussion, chaired by Professor Anthony Challinor. Together, these leading Cambridge astrophysicists will explain their role in the development of this remarkable facility; what they hope to learn with JWST data about the evolution of galaxies and the supermassive black holes at their centres; and how we can compare these observations to state-of-the-art computer models.
Professor Anthony Challinor
Professor Anthony Challinor is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the Institute of Astronomy and Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. He is Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology in Cambridge. He obtained his PhD in 1998, and followed this with Research Fellowships from PPARC and the Royal Society before joining the faculty in Cambridge in 2006.
Anthony is a cosmologist whose research focuses on using cosmological observations to test cosmological models and to understand the origin of cosmic structure in the early Universe. He has a particular interest in the origin, interpretation, and measurement of cosmic microwave background (CMB) fluctuations. He was a Core-Team member of the Planck High-Frequency Instrument, and is a member of the Simons Observatory, LiteBIRD and CMB-S4 Collaborations.
Professor Roberto Maiolino
Roberto Maiolino is Professor of Experimental Astrophysics at the Department of Physics of the University of Cambridge, Honorary Professor at University College London, and Royal Society Research Professor.
Before moving to Cambridge Professor Maiolino was researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (Munich), at the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (Florence) and at the Astronomical Observatory of Rome, and has been Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology.
Professor Maiolino has a key role in some of the most ambitious forthcoming astronomical facilities, including the involvement in instrumentation for the Extremely Large Telescope and for the James Webb Space Telescope.
Professor Debora Sijacki
Debora Sijacki is a Professor of Astrophysics and Cosmology at the Institute of Astronomy (IoA) and Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, and has recently been appointed KICC deputy director. After finishing her PhD studies at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, Debora spent her postdoctoral years as a STFC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the IoA, University of Cambridge and as a Hubble Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University.
Debora focuses in her work on computational astrophysics, especially studying galaxy formation and supermassive black holes. Her PhD work has been recognised with the Otto-Hahn medal of the Max-Planck Society, in 2015 she was awarded an European Research Council Starting Grant, and in 2019 she received the PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for High Performance Computing (HPC), for her outstanding contributions to and impact on HPC in Europe. Since 2016 she is the Chair of the UK National HPC Project Management Board of DiRAC and she recently joined the Scientific Steering Committee of PRACE, the highest body for scientific HPC in Europe.
Dr Sandro Tacchella
Sandro Tacchella is an astrophysicist working at the Department of Physics (Cavendish Laboratory) and at the Kavli Institute for Cosmology of the University of Cambridge. Before joining the University of Cambridge in 2022, he was Assistant Professor at the Physics Department of UNIST in Ulsan (Korea) and a CfA Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge (USA). Sandro's long-range scientific goal is to understand the physics of the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes across cosmic time.
He exploits multi-wavelength observational data obtained with some of the most advanced telescopes on ground and in space. He uses and develops analytical and cosmological numerical models to shed light on the physical properties of galaxies. Sandro is also heavily involved in the new James Webb Space Telescope, playing a key role both in the data processing of the NIRCam instrument and the characterisation of the first galaxies in the early Universe.