The (i)PTF wide-field variability sky survey is conducted by a consortium led by Prof. Shri Kulkarni from Caltech, of which The Weizmann Institute of Science is a founding member. The survey instrument is the recommissioned CFHT 12k camera, mounted on the 48'' Oschin Schmidt Telescope at Palomar Observatory, delivering a 7.8 square degrees field-of view per image. This dedicated wide-field survey instrument saw first light on Dec. 2008 and is in routine operations since March 2009. The survey will conclude at the end of February 2017, to allow the ZTF survey to commence later this year. PTF will provided a dedicated ``discovery machine'', probing unexplored regions in observational parameter space, in terms of a combination of field of view, survey depth and temporal search cadence. The study of core-collapse supernovae discovered by the PTF is a key project led by me at the Weizmann Institute.
Some major highlight results from PTF and iPTF include:
- News from the PTF dry-run of 2007: discovery of the first Pair-Instability SN candidate (Nature paper)
- First results on the demographics of core-collapse SNe from PTF and a more recent update.
- Optical coming of age: realtime detection and rapid multiwavelength follow-up of transients from the Palomar Transient Survey
- PTF leads to the discovery of the class of superluminous supernovae (see here for a review)
- iPTF probes how massive stars explode using flash spectroscopy (Nature paper)
- Some sample papers we published on Type II events, Type Ib/c, Type IIb, Type IIn, SN1987A-like, SNe Ic-BL, and Ca-rich events.