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Cosmic Dawn and 21-cm Cosmology: From Theoretical Concepts to Monumental Observations

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Understanding the formation and evolution of the first stars and galaxies represents one of the most exciting frontiers in astronomy. Since the universe was filled with hydrogen atoms at early times, the most promising observational probe is the redshifted 21-cm spectral line of hydrogen. The “cosmic dawn” era was in fact rich with astrophysics, and should have left a number of distinct observational signatures. It was all considered speculative when I helped pioneer the theoretical predictions a decade ago, but there is now an enormous observational effort (in which I am involved within the Square Kilometre Array) that promises to finally confront theory with data and begin the exploration of a new cosmic era.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Galaxies Discussion Group series.

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