Ambitious project to map the Big Bang’s afterglow earns NSF funding

September 30, 2019

UChicago-led proposal receives NSF funding for pioneering sky measurements

The National Science Foundation has awarded $4 million to the University of Chicago to host the development of an ambitious multi-institutional program to map the leftover light from the Big Bang in greater detail than ever before.

Called CMB-S4, the groundbreaking project will allow us to see back in time to the earliest epoch of the universe. Remnant light from this period, called the cosmic microwave background, is still visible in the skies and holds clues to many of the most pressing mysteries about the universe - from its earliest moments to how it evolved to produce the wondrous structure of galaxies, stars and planets that we see today.

"The history of the universe-and the physics that govern its evolution - are encoded in the cosmic microwave background, and rigorous, precise measurements will allows us to unlock this information and will likely lead to new discoveries," said renowned UChicago cosmologist John Carlstrom, principal investigator for this initial phase of the project and co-spokesperson of the CMB-S4 collaboration, who also holds a joint appointment at Argonne National Laboratory. "These are big, big topics in physics, many of which we don't know how to get at any other way."

Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration awarded a 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

September 16, 2019

Congratulations to the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration for being awarded the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The citation reads: "For the first image of a supermassive black hole, taken by means of an Earth-sized alliance of telescopes.”  The $3 million prize will be shared equally among the 347 co-authors.

Several UChicago researchers are involved in the EHT collaboration, and the 10 meter South Pole Telescope (SPT) is a critical component of the network of telescopes that make up the EHT.   Chicagoland EHT collaboration members include Brad Benson, John Carlstrom, Tom Crawford, Jason Henning, Ryan Keisler, Erik Leitch, Daniel Michalik, Andrew Nadolski, Steve Padin, and Sasha Rahlin.

New measure of Hubble constant adds to mystery about universe’s expansion rate

July 16, 2019

Scientists measure half-life of element that’s longer than the age of the universe

May 1, 2019

Astronomers Take First-Ever Picture of a Black Hole

April 11, 2019

After mapping millions of galaxies, Dark Energy Survey finishes data collection

January 9, 2019


Gravitational waves could soon provide measure of universe’s expansion

October 22, 2018

Next-gen camera for South Pole Telescope takes data on early universe

September 10, 2018