By: Karen Laansoo
17 Dec, 2019
The director of CIFAR’s Gravity & the Extreme Universe program, Kaspi is recognized for her outstanding research and leadership
Fast Radio Bursts, extremely powerful, short-lived, and seemingly random bursts of energy from deep in the cosmos, remain one of the most mysterious phenomena in the Universe. Nobody knows what causes them because their fleeting nature makes them hard to record.
But R. Howard Webster Foundation Fellow and McGill University professor Victoria Kaspi, along with fellows in CIFAR’s Gravity & the Extreme Universe program, have found clues by retooling a unique Canadian telescope, CHIME, to detect dozens of these bursts. As the sample size grows, and some of the sources are found to repeat, the astrophysical culprits of these mysterious bursts are beginning to come into view.
Kaspi and her work on CHIME are the focus of one of the profiles in Nature’s 10 this year, a list of “ten people who mattered in science.”
Find out more about Kaspi and her research into the mysteries of Fast Radio Bursts in our 2018 Massey Talk:
Also featured in Nature’s 10 this year is John Martinis and his Google team’s quantum supremacy milestone. CIFAR associate fellow David Bacon was on the team being profiled, and many of the underlying techniques also have links to CIFAR’s Quantum Information Science program. You can read more about quantum supremacy here.
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.