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30th of July 2021
Sad trombones
The FRB2021 conference is currently underway. In addition to being an enigmatic phenomena that is challenging to understand, Fast Radio Bursts are an exceptional tool to probe the content of the Universe along the line of sight to the source. Radio waves are dispersed in frequency by their passage through ionised material, which is characterised by the Dispersion Measure. The fact the lower frequencies arrive progressively later has been compared to the "sad trombone", a series of descending notes, used to indicate something sad has happened, or failure in a game-show context. The slide above was used by Keith Bannister to illustrate this.

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