EHT Initiative at PI boosts black hole hunt
Researchers at Perimeter Institute aim to lead the analysis of a global project expected to obtain the first picture of a black hole.
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is an international collaboration that coordinates observations from an Earth-spanning array of millimetre-wavelength radio telescopes that collectively provide unprecedented ability to resolve the event horizons of nearby supermassive black holes.
The EHT will collect a torrent of new data over the next several years, and the EHT Initiative at Perimeter aims to be the world’s foremost hub for analysis of this data.
"For the first time, we're going to be able to validate – or, even more exciting, perhaps invalidate – some big ideas of how black holes operate," says Perimeter Associate Faculty member Avery Broderick, leader of the EHT Initiative at PI.
"Because the EHT is developing so rapidly, we need to have large numbers of people working in concert, in organized fashion, being able to understand what it gives us. Perimeter already has a strong focus on black hole physics, and I think is one of the best places for black hole physics in the world today. That means it's a fantastic place to perform EHT analysis. We can take that data and turn it into science."
Central to this work will be postdoctoral researchers capable of immediately contributing to complex astrophysical and astronomical analyses, working closely with a growing number of graduate and PhD students specializing in the field.
"Given the fact that we expect to have transformative data in the next year or two, we need to be bringing in people who have already obtained their degree, people who already have a strong skill-set, and can assume positions of leadership in the collaboration," says Broderick.
Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.