“SEARCH FOR THE ORIGINS OF THE UNIVERSE”– THE STORY OF THE SQUARE KILOMETER ARRAY.
MAIN SPEAKER: DR. ADRIAN TIPLADY
Deputy Managing Director, Strategy & Partnerships at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO).
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is borne from a global vision to design and construct the most powerful and technologically advanced cm-wavelength radio telescope in the world. This next-generation scientific facility, being design and delivered through a global partnership, faces a monumental scientific task: to begin answering some of the more fundamental questions about the laws of physics. What is the nature of dark energy, and dark matter? How did the galaxies evolve? As a pathfinder to the scientific and technical challenges of the SKA, the MeerKAT radio telescope (located in the Karoo region of South Africa)has commenced scientific operations after a number of years of innovative technology development. Its many surprising scientific discoveries already gives a glimpses of what the SKA may unexpectedly find. The MeerKAT has not only been a scientific project – it has become a key catalyst for the development of a knowledge economy, and a vehicle for socioeconomic development. In this presentation, I will look at the many facets of the SKA and MeerKAT projects – from scientific discovery, to cutting edge technology, to the-opportunities for real socioeconomic impact that have arisen.