On January 18 our talk will be given by Dr. Christian Reichardt and will be entitled “Going to the Ends of the Earth to Study the Beginnings of Time.” The cosmic microwave background radiation is the oldest light we can see. Since it bears the imprint of the universe just after the Big Bang (at a mere 0.003% of the universe’s age today), it has been a crucial tool in our quest to understand how the Universe began and what its future holds. The pursuit of the cosmic microwave background has driven scientists to the coldest and driest desert on the planet: the high Antartic plateau. For the past 20 years or so, scientists have built telescopes at the South Pole to make detailed maps of the cosmic microwave background. We will discuss what we know about the Big Bang; the latest results from the South Pole, and what its like to work at the bottom of the world. Christian Reichardt is a researcher at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2008. He first went to the South Pole in 2004 and has continued to work on experiments at the South Pole ever since. You can view the video of his talk by clicking below.