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About us Faculty of Science and Engineering PhD ceremonies

Assessing the performance of forthcoming Infrared telescopes

PhD ceremony:Ms L. Bisigello
When:November 13, 2017
Start:14:30
Supervisors:prof. dr. K.I. (Karina) Caputi, prof. dr. A.M. (Andrei) Barychev, prof. dr. P. van der Werf
Co-supervisor:dr. S. Yates
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering
Assessing the performance of forthcoming Infrared telescopes

Astronomy is largely based on the data analysis, and these data are the product of researches and developments both in physics and engineering. This PhD thesis deals with different parts of this procedure and focuses on two upcoming infrared instruments: the APEX Microwave Infrared Detector (A-MKID) for the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

As A-MKID is a larger array than conventional infrared detectors, traditional calibration methods are not adequate. In my thesis I present a novel calibration method for A-MKID, and a correction method for the cross-talk effect in A-MKID images (cross-talk refers to spurious signal induced in one detector as “echo” for the real signal in another one).

In addition, I have made useful predictions to design future observations with the JWST. This telescope will be able to observe distant galaxies, which were present since only 500 million years after the Big Bang. In particular, I analyse the ability to recover different galaxy properties using JWST instruments.

Finally, I study a galaxy sample over the last 11 billion years of cosmic time to analyse their different modes of star formation, either a slow mode, in which stars are formed progressively, or a fast mode in which stars are created in a so-called ‘starburst’. I find that starbursts are more common than previously thought, and they are important among the smallest galaxies.

All these steps highlight the importance of infrared instruments and data to study the galaxy formation and evolution at different cosmic epochs.