Photo of Casey Law

Casey Law

Assistant Project Astronomer


  • 267 Campbell Hall


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Research Interests

I am interested in using data intensive techniques to study astronomical transients. Fast Radio Bursts are a mysterious new class of millisecond radio transient emitted at cosmological distances. These bursts are tremendously energetic and may be connected to other energetic phenomena, such as gamma-ray bursts and magnetars. Fast radio bursts are the only fast radio transient known at such distances, so they can be used as a new kind of probe of the universe.

To understand these sources, I am developing techniques for radio interferometers in the study of fast transients. My work is different in that I use radio interfermeters as high-speed cameras to detect and localize transients. This produces terabytes of data per hour, so real-time, distributed, and heterogeneous computing is required to perform the search. At the Very Large Array (VLA), I am leading the realfast project, which is a commensal, real-time transient search system. Real-time, commensal transient searches will open up thousands of hours per year and allow us to find and identify the progenitors of FRBs, pulsars, and other classes of fast radio transient.


realfast: Fast Transient Surveys with the VLA

Radio and optical (inset) images of the first precision localization of a fast radio burst

realfast is a new instrument dedicated to millisecond transient surveys at the Very Large Array (VLA). A major motivation for this system is to search for Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), a mysterious, new class of fast radio transient. Each realfast FRB detection will be localized so precisely that we can identify their multiwavelength associations, such as a host galaxy. This was proven with the first realfast discovery, the first subarcsecond FRB localization and association with a host galaxy. More information available at

More about realfast: Fast Transient Surveys with the VLA