Neutron stars are among the most powerful compact objects in the Milky Way. Two main varieties of them are pulsars and magnetars, each with a distinctive "spin-down" that drives the view that they are strongly-magnetised neutron stars. Both are very bright in steady, pulsed light, yet they are profoundly different. For example, pulsars are bright in radio and gamma-rays, whereas magnetars exhibit sporadic, powerful X-ray flares. These are important cosmic laboratories for testing physics beyond a lab. This talk introduces these neutron stars, spanning discoveries over the last five decades right up to the detection around 18 months ago of gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars.
Dr. Matthew Baring is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University in Houston, Texas, USA. His career started with undergraduate studies in physics at the University of Melbourne, followed by a PhD from the University of Cambridge in theoretical astrophysics. He has enjoyed positions at several prominent institutions in the US and Europe, including an eight-year stint at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. Baring's research has covered various sources of radiation in the cosmos, including remnants of supernovae (exploded stars), cosmic plasma shocks (gaseous tidal waves), gamma-ray bursts, active regions near the cores of exotic galaxies, and pulsars, neutron stars, and black holes.
Please note that the cafe will not be open and no food or drink will be available for purchase. The Visitor Centre will be open from 1:30pm-3:30pm.