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Today's colloquium: Continuing the search for fast radio bursts

Submitter: Laura Spitler (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy)
Description: Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are a new class of short-duration radio pulses first discovered in 2007. Since then seven more FRBs have been detected from the Parkes Radio Telescope and one from the Arecibo Observatory. I will discuss the discovery of the Arecibo FRB in detail and give an overview of the efforts underway at the Effelsberg telescope to discover more bursts. Finally, I'll briefly outline some of the proposed theories for what FRBs may be.

The image above shows the 0.7 seconds during which the first FRB discovered using the Arecibo Observatory swept across the frequency band. The inset panel shows the average pulse profile, after correcting for dispersion due to the ionised component of the intervening medium that causes a pulse emitted at lower frequencies to arrive later than the same pulse emitted at higher frequencies.
See Spitler et al. 2014 for further information.
Copyright: Spitler et al. 2014
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