University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Physics Colloquium

Friday, October 14, 2016
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Physics, Room PB-38

John M. O’Meara, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics, Saint Michael’s College

Fingerprints of the First Stars: Searching for Population III

Our current story for the origin of the heavy elements has at its core a recycling program on cosmological scales. Using telescopes on the ground and in space, we have traced baryons as they flow from the intergalactic medium into galaxies, where they are incorporated into stars, undergo fusion, and are expelled in supernovae and other types of stellar death. The process can repeat many times, raising the cosmological heavy element contribution to the baryon budget. In principle, if we run the clock backwards far enough, we could observe the very first stars, aka ‘Population III stars’: those formed from only those elements created in nucleosynthesis shortly after the big bang. As of yet, however, the Population III stars have eluded direct detection. In this talk, I will present a new suite of tools and techniques used in the hunt for Population III stars, and will discuss how the future generation of telescopes may finally reveal these first stars in the universe.

Refreshments will be prior to the talk, at 3:30 p.m. in the Gant Complex, Physics Library, Room PB-103.


Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916,

Physics Department (primary)

Control Panel