Nils-Ole filters out the weak light of the young Universe

– What could be more exciting than to uncover the very nature of reality by studying the contents of the Universe! There is no other field of science that researches a thing as fundamental as the very Universe itself!

illustration of astrophysical environment with different emission lines at the Epoch of Reionization
Shows some astrophysical environment with different emission lines at the Epoch of Reionization when the first stars formed, where the CO gas traces the star-forming galaxies and clusters. Figure from Kovetz et al. (2017).​​​​

Several billion years ago the first stars formed in cold and dense clouds of molecular gas. The CO gas within these clouds can emit some weak light, that is however easily obscured by other different sources of noise and foreground.

portrait photo of Nils-Ole
Nils-Ole Stutzer has just graduated in Astronomy, a master's degree offered by the University of Oslo.

My master's thesis has been about the data analysis in the COMAP experiment, a survey that tries to map out the 3D distribution of the CO gas around the time of peak cosmic star formation, with the ultimate goal of finding out more about the early star formation. My work has therefore been about helping to develop software tools we can use to filter and clean our data from unwanted noise and bright foreground sources of light. I also estimated how much of the wanted CO signal the filtering of the data eliminates, explains Nils-Ole Stutzer, newly graduated.

– What are the most important things you have learned in your master studies?

– Three things I have learned throughout my masters are how to conduct scientific research, how to work in a large international collaboration of scientists and how the laws of physics govern the very universe we are living in.

– What fascinates you the most about astronomy? Why?

– What could be more exciting than to uncover the very nature of reality by studying the contents of the Universe! There is no other field of science that researches a thing as fundamental as the very Universe itself!

Your "message in the bottle" to fellow master students is ...

– Start to write on your thesis early, show your (unfinished) drafts to your supervisor(s) regularly and most importantly just enjoy what you are doing. Do this and you will become a master of the Universe :P

Tags: master thesis, master program, Astrophysics, cosmology, COMAP By Nils-Ole Stutzer, Martina D'Angelo
Published July 12, 2021 9:25 AM - Last modified July 12, 2021 4:07 PM