2008 March 11
See, this is what happens when the blogging momentum stops. Gotta claw your way back into the swing of things.
Today was mostly a planning day. I took care of a bunch of miscellaneous tasks: scheduling meetings, printing things out, updating some code here and there, a homework problem, checking in on some projects that I haven’t touched for a while.
I also met with Geoff to talk some more about the next step with my ATA work. I think we have a good vision of the direction we want to go, and the specific next thing to work on seems pretty clear: a published paper showing how well we can do broadband spectra and applying them to a self-contained science problem. We need to think about things a bit more, but we have an idea to look for spectral breaks in the radio emission of star-forming galaxies, which could tell you about the energetics of these galaxies’ electron. This is interesting because understanding that is a piece of the puzzle of understanding star formation on galactic scales, since the electrons’ emission is a widely-used tracer of star formation activity.
To really get a good result on these star-forming galaxies would require a long, thorough observing campaign. But we can start by looking at just a few galaxies and proving that our technique works. This is the sort of thing that sounds like a good ApJ Letter: “Here’s a technique we developed, here are a few example results, feel free to overinterpret them if you want to.” If we’re lucky, the results for the first few galaxies might be interesting in and of themselves, but even if not, the important thing is to lay the groundwork for future, broader work.