Physics Colloquium — John Bahcall Memorial Lecture: Microlensing Planet Searches On a Cusp
Prof. Andrew Gould, Ohio State University
50 Years after it was first proposed as a planet search technique, microlensing has developed into a powerful probe of planet populations that are inaccessible to other methods. Microlensing has already given us the first frequency measurements of free-floating planets, and of bound planets beyond the snow line, as well as the first true solar system analogs, i.e., multi-giant systems beyond the snow line. Even its detections of more prosaic binaries have yielded startling results. Microlensing planet searches are now entering a new era of "second generation surveys", in which the rate of planet detection is rising rapidly. I review accomplishments to date and then discuss the observational prospects as well as theoretical challenges of this new era.
Seminar Organisers: Dr. Tomer Volansky, Dr. Dovi Poznanski