25 (Thursday) 4:35 pm
Title: Detecting Gravitational Waves from Supermassive Black Hole Binaries
Abstract: Gravitational waves (GW) have never been directly detected, and the ability to do so will revolutionize astrophysics. In particular, we will be able to directly observe GW radiation from some of the most extreme events in the universe. Astronomers worldwide are involved in an effort to directly detect GWs using millisecond pulsars located throughout our Galaxy. I will review the basic principles of operation and the status of this effort. Our contribution at Oberlin focuses on correcting the pulsar signal for its passage through non-empty interstellar space. I will highlight some of our recent results, including work done with the Dutch LOFAR telescope this past year.
8 (Wednesday) 4:35 pm
Title: Integrating Intermittent Renewable Generation on Bulk Electric Systems
Wind and solar generators are often called variable or intermittent sources as their output is dependent on the availability of wind and sun. Electric power system operators face a challenge in smoothly integrating the variable output from wind and solar generators with existing sources and sinks on the grid without compromising power quality, reliability, or the infrastructure of the system. Operators must continuously match output from many electric generators (sources) to electricity demand at many end-use sites (sinks), a process that becomes more difficult with high levels of unpredictable and/or undispatchable sources.
Over the last five years, as wind and solar generators have become a more significant fraction of available generating capacity in many regions of North America, this challenge has driven development in generation technology, storage technology, forecasting tools, and coordination among system operators.