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Physics Department Colloquium
First Results from Hitomi
Date: Friday, April 22nd
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Richard Mushotzky, University of Maryland/Goddard Space Flight Center
Abstract: I will present the Hitomi mission and its present status. Hitomi is a Japanese/US x-ray spectroscopy satellite that was launched in Feb 2016. It carried a wide range of instruments but I will focus on the results from the Soft X-ray Spectrometer, a new technology x-ray spectrometer with an energy resolution of ~4.9 eV ,~30x better than previously achieved in the E>2 keV band. The first observation was that of the Perseus cluster, a nearby very luminous cluster of galaxies and the prototype for the interaction of an active galaxy and the x-emitting hot gas in the cluster. The hot gas is the dominant baryonic component in the cluster and its physical properties are crucial to understanding how clusters, the largest structures in the universe, form and evolve.
The SXS measured for the first time the velocity field of the hot gas and shows the power of precision x-ray spectroscopy . The richness of this data set will allow future measurements of the abundance of several elements to better than 5% precision, constraints on resonance scattering and already has challenged present atomic physics models.
Host: Dan McCammon
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