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Gordon Stacey Colloquium Abstract (Nov 18, 2015)

Far-Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy at Cornell University

I will discuss the where, how, and why of submillimeter astronomy at Cornell University. The discussion will include a brief introduction to the astrophysics of the far-infrared and submillimeter spectral lines - how they cool interstellar gas clouds and trace the physical properties of both the gas clouds and nearby stars. I will then discuss how we detect this radiation with instrumentation built - by students - in our lab at Cornell. I plan to include a bit of a travel log to various telescopes on which we have used Cornell-built instrumentation including Mauna Kea, the Atacama Plateau in Chile, the South Pole and high in the stratosphere onboard NASA's airborne observatories, and some of the exciting astrophysical results we have obtained from these observations.