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Ordinary Meeting: Antimatter in Astrophysics

Friday 4th April 2014 - 8:00pm
Topic:  Antimatter in Astrophysics
Speaker:   Dr Simon Ellis,  AAO
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract:   When normal matter meets antimatter it is completely destroyed, and converted into pure energy.  The Universe today is composed almost entirely of matter, with very little antimatter.  However, the annihilation of antimatter is observed emanating from the centre of our Galaxy, at a rate that corresponds to the annihilation of 16 billion tonnes of antimatter every second.  Where this antimatter comes from is an unsolved problem.  Possibilities include black holes, supernovae, or even dark matter.

I will discuss the properties of antimatter, the origin of the antimatter in the Galaxy , how we observe it and what these observations can tell us about high energy phenomena in the Universe.  I will present a new technique to enable much more sensitive of observations of antimatter.


I am currently a member of the instrument science group at the Australian Astronomical Observatory.  My research interests include the application of photonic technologies to astronomical instrumentation, especially with regards to filtering atmospheric emission, the evolution of galaxies and the search for astrophysical antimatter.  I came to the AAO in 2003 after completing my PhD at the University of Birmingham, on the evolution of clusters of galaxies.  I worked at the University of Sydney from 2008-2010, before returning to the AAO.

Event Date: 
Friday, 4 April, 2014 - 20:00
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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