RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Tuesday, 28 July 2015, 11:00-12:00; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Christopher Hales

"Magnetic Fields in Large Scale Structure"

The magnetic history of the Universe is uncharted. Measurements of magnetic fields on scales larger than galaxy clusters are needed to distinguish between fields generated in the primordial Universe and those generated at later epochs, with implications for particle physics, cosmology, and astrophysics. Yet such measurements remain elusive. In this talk I will review mechanisms for generating magnetic fields across cosmic time, implications for post-recombination physics, and current observational constraints on intergalactic magnetic fields. I will describe my efforts to develop a novel statistical probe of the magnetic field power spectrum in cosmic web filaments using Faraday rotation measures. I will introduce CHILES Con Pol, a forthcoming ultra-deep 1.4 GHz radio survey with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. CHILES Con Pol will reach an unprecedented SKA-era rms sensitivity of 400 nJy, entering new parameter space for studies of galaxy evolution and enabling the first robust constraints on the intergalactic magnetic field power spectrum.