Come in. Learn something: Gamma-Ray Bursts

Joined Apr 1, 2009
I did IT for a research center focused on that. Never took the opportunity to actually ask the physicists what it all meant. With that said physicists are greatly undervalued and underpaid, not sure if it's like that universally but those were some of the smartest people I've ever been around and they weren't making nearly as much as I thought they would be.
Joined Mar 10, 2013
Jesus Christ that intro was horrible. "He uh, uh, won, uh, many awards, uh, including, uh, best guy, uh...." The F? Learn how to present in public. I assume you're a got damn prof at Harvard.
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Joined Dec 5, 2010
So gamma ray bursts are events that occur billions of years ago that are detected for a short amount of time by telescopes which detect the high amount of light energy released. They are about a million times brighter than a galaxy. The original purpose of the researcher 60-70 years ago was to understand the gamma rays emitted from detonating a nuclear bomb. They discovered by accident that as these GRB events occur, energy levels fluctuate accordingly in the ionosphere, or part of Earth's atmosphere. This was significant enough to be considered a discovery because these events were occurring regardless of the atomic tests that were conducted by the military in conjunction with government scientists. Their work was declassified for the purpose of trying to find and record GRB events as well as understanding what this discovery means for the size of the universe. In 1920, they had a classical debate on the size of the universe, known as the Great Debate which is mentioned in the video for the purpose of iterating how much is still not yet accepted in the world of physics.

Physicists measure what is known as a redshift to determine how long ago these events occur, and using telescopes which again, need to focus their field of vision at specific areas of the sky once a GRB event occurs, they determine the amount of light years it occurred.

Now they are getting the Giant Magellan Telescope built which features seven 26-ft wide mirrors in order to make more progress on coming to a concrete theory about why GRB events occur and what that means for blackholes.
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