The Square Kilometre Array: At the Frontiers of Astronomy, Physics, and Astrobiology
The Square Kilometre Array is intended to be the centimeter- and meter-wavelength telescope for the 21st Century. Originally proposed as the "hydrogen telescope," the science case is now recognized to be much broader, and the SKA will address fundamental questions in astrophysics, physics, and astrobiology. The international science community has developed a set of Key Science Programs: (1) Emerging from the Dark Ages and the Epoch of Reionization; (2) Galaxy Evolution, Cosmology, and Dark Energy; (3) The Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Magnetism; (4) Strong Field Tests of Gravity Using Pulsars and Black Holes; and (5) The Cradle of Life & Astrobiology. I highlight how the SKA's Key Science Programs will be an integral component of the multi-wavelength, multi-messenger frontiers for astronomy and how the science pathfinding for the SKA is beginning now.
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Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA
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Joseph Lazio is a Principal Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Project Scientist for the Square Kilometre Array. He received his Ph.D. at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), was awarded a National Research Council Research Associateship, and was a staff member at the Naval Research Laboratory before joining JPL. He has authored or co-authored nearly 100 papers on topics including radio searches for extrasolar planets, physics of the interstellar medium, gravitational physics studies via radio pulsar measurements, and tracking the evolution of the intergalactic medium during the Epoch of Reionization. In addition to helping to develop the science case for the SKA, he also serves as the Deputy Director for the Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR). He routinely uses a number of leading radio facilities, including the Very Long Baseline Array, the Expanded Very Large Array, and the Green Bank Telescope.