Colloquium

The Era of "Replicated" Spectroscopy

Observational astronomy often finds itself in tension between studying individual objects in detail, or measuring single values for complex physical systems. We are now at an exciting time when we can both spatially resolve objects at physically relevant scales, and observe multiple objects simultaneously. I'll discuss some of the challenges and successes of recent "replication" projects in optical instrumentation. I will focus on the construction of VIRUS, the massively replicated spectrograph in support of HETDEX (the Hobby Eberly Telescope Dark Energy eXperiment) and projects that grew out of its replicable nature including LRS2 & CHILI. Now coming online in West Texas, VIRUS hosts one of the largest integral field units in the world with 34,500 fibers feeding the focal plane. Using Lyman alpha emitters as our primary sources, we will constrain dark energy between 2 < z < 4 over the course of the 3 year survey. In this new time of extralarge instruments, what are the constraints on how far we can go?

Followed by wine and cheese in Pupin 1332.

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