ProtoDESI: A Pathfinder For DESI
This event is part of the Preliminary Oral Exam.
Examining Committee: Professors Steve Ahlen, Edward Kearns, Andy Cohen, Alex Sushkov
Abstract: The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is a stage IV ground-based, robotically-actuated, fiber-fed spectrograph capable of taking 5,000 simultaneous spectra over a wavelength range from 360 nm to 980 nm. Currently under construction, DESI will be mounted on the 4-m Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) near Tucson, AZ, and is set to begin its 5-year mission in 2019. By surveying more than 30 million galaxies up to z~3.5 over 16,000 deg2 of sky, DESI will create a three-dimensional map of baryonic matter distribution and make precise measurements of the expansion history of the universe through Baryon Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) and growth of large-scale structure through redshift-space distortion (RSD). These data will also constrain models of modified gravity, primordial inflation, and neutrino mass. A technology demonstrator, protoDESI, completed its 6-week test run at KPNO successfully in September 2016. This talk will give an overview of the DESI project, present results from protoDESI, and highlight the contributions to protoDESI and DESI focal plate by Ahlen group and Scientific Instrument Facility (SIF) at BU.