Events at Physics
Sub-millimeter astronomy is entering a new frontier. Earth’s atmosphere plagues ground-based sub-mm telescopes with high levels of background radiation, so astronomers are relocating their instruments to high-altitude balloons, and in the near future, onto satellites. This new era of low-background sub-mm astronomy requires highly sensitive detector technologies, for which we turn to superconductivity. The Kinetic Inductance Detector (KID), a superconducting microresonator technology that has only recently seen its first light, is being commissioned for this new generation of instruments. The EXperiment for Cryogenic Large-Aperture Intensity Mapping (EXCLAIM), led by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center scientists, is among the first in this class of instruments. I will describe the technology behind KIDs designed for EXCLAIM, and the science we plan to accomplish. I will also describe the potential for the use of KIDs in future space missions, along with the science that can be accomplished with such a low-background, highly sensitive survey of the cosmos.