KICP Workshops, 2010
Exploring the Universe Bit by Bit
April 28 - 30, 2010 | Kersten Physics Teaching Center (KPTC) at the University of Chicago

Organizer: Randall H. Landsberg

New, visually rich, astronomical software environments coupled with large web-accessible data sets hold the promise of innovative and exciting ways to teach, collaborate, and explore the Universe. Exploring the Universe Bit by Bit will be a hands on workshop that will focus on four key visualization software environments: Google Sky, WorldWide Telescope, Celestia, & Partiview, with the immediate goals of developing applications and seeding new collaborations during the workshop.

This interdisciplinary workshop is intended to bring together scientists, educators (formal and informal), and software developers to promote innovative uses of the emerging software platforms in scientific research and as tools for learning and teaching. With the help of developers of these applications, we will investigate their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses; and identify future directions. A primary focus will be the creation of tours, classroom applications, collaborative research environments, and laboratory exercises during the workshop. These development efforts will be supported by mini-tutorials and one-on-one instruction by the creators of these products. The principal developers of Google Sky (Noel Gorelick, Andrew Connolly, and Ryan Scranton), WorldWide Telescope (Jonathan Fay), Celestia (Chris Laurel), Partiview (Stuart Levy) will lead the instruction. This workshop is modeled after the successful "Viewing the Universe:via the World Wide Web" workshop held at the University of Chicago in 2008.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Randall H. Landsberg
Beyond Beauty: A Panel Discussion on the Nature and Meaning of Images in Astrophysics
June 13, 2010 | 7:00 PM | SAIC Ballroom, 112 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL

Beyond Beauty: A Panel Discussion on the Nature and Meaning of Images in Astrophysics
June 13, 2010 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
Location: SAIC Ballroom, 112 S Michigan
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8 p.m.

A panel presentation on the nature and meaning of cosmic images, led by moderator Josh Frieman and featuring Christy Tremonti, Tom Crawford, and Mike Gladders.

Spectacular images from instruments such as Hubble Space Telescope have permeated our culture and reshaped the public perception of what space "looks like". While their power and beauty is widely appreciated, the information content and scientific significance of cosmic images is less widely understood. Images used in astrophysics and cosmology differ significantly from forms of photographic imaging that we encounter in other contexts. They are a lot more than just "pictures of space". The technology and image-making practice is designed not to mimic human vision, but to maximize the information content of the final image. And, the creation of such an image is far from being the final step in the scientific process. Interpreting or "reading" cosmic images, using mathematics and physics, is how we go from a beautiful (or sometimes horribly "ugly") image to a deeper understanding about our universe. Our panelists will each choose an image from their own research, and describe how the image-making and image-interpretation process works in the context of cutting-edge cosmological research.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Thomas M. Crawford; Joshua A. Frieman; Michael D. Gladders
10th Great Lakes Cosmology Workshop
June 14 - 16, 2010 | University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
10th Great Lakes Cosmology Workshop @ Chicago, 2010
Website | Online Materials

Organizers: Eduardo Rozo, Surhud More, John E. Carlstrom, Anupreeta More, Jennifer Sobeck, Kathryn K. Schaffer, Mark Subbarao

The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago, and Alder Planetarium will host the 10th Great Lakes Cosmology Workshop (GLCW X) from Monday June 14th to Wednesday June 16th in Chicago, IL. As is tradition, the Workshop provides a forum for advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and young faculty from the Great Lakes region working on all areas of cosmology and particle-astrophysics. More senior faculty will provide useful overviews. The general structure of the workshop includes three days of workshops (6 half-day sessions), ending the evening of June 16th. The workshop's dinner banquet will be held on Monday, June 14, 2010 at the Adler Planetarium.

In keeping with the goal of encouraging the broadest possible participation from young researchers in Great Lakes institutions, the scientific program has been largely driven by the topics which participants choose to present. It is preferred that presentations at GLCW X be directly relevant to one of the following topics:
Dark Matter (direct and indirect detection); Dark Energy; Inflation; Large Scale Structure; Cosmic Microwave Background; Lensing; Galaxy Clusters; Dark Ages; Reionization; Dwarf Galaxies; Galaxy Evolution; BAO; Modified Gravity; 21 cm Emission.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom; Anupreeta More; Surhud More; Eduardo Rozo; Kathryn K. Schaffer; Jennifer Sobeck; Mark Subbarao
KICP Students: Lindsey E. Bleem; Megan B. Gralla; Yeunjin Kim
KICP 10th Year Reunion
June 17, 2010 | Chicago, IL

Organizer: Stephan S. Meyer

We are inviting our Alumni and their families back to KICP to reconnect with our colleagues and collaborators for a day of science, camaraderie and fun.

The program will begin in the morning with science talks from current and former KICPers, ending at beautiful Promontory Point for Barbeque and games.

We hope you and your family will join us!

Related Links:
KICP Members: Stephan S. Meyer
Simple Machines, Yerkes Summer Institute
August 7 - 13, 2010 | Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI
Photo Gallery

The 2010 KICP Yerkes Summer Institute was all about "work" and understanding the fundamentals and applications of Simple Machines. In the "Lift" lab the students learned about the physics of work against gravity with pulleys and a block and tackle. The "Trebuchet" lab was an examination of the physics of the lever and more, as it involved the construction of individual popsicle-stick sized trebuchets and a modest scale (~10 foot) modern siege machine. The "Gears" lab delved into mechanical advantage and disadvantage, how to calculate them, and how to apply them in the real world. The nighttime activities focused on observing the night sky with the naked eye, binoculars and the observatory telescopes as well as using gears to track celestial objects for astrophotography and capturing images on a research grade CCD. The institute culminated with student presentations to parents and peers. Each of three reporting groups made a presentation about the laboratory that they had spent two additional days (12 hours) of extension activities exploring. As well as the high school participants, nine (9) young KICP scientists gained valuable teaching, team-working and communications skills planning and executing this week long, science immersion experience.

Instructors: Louis Abramson, Alissa Bans, Matt Bayliss, Kyle Cudworth, Nicole Fields, Vivian Hoette, Florin Ionita, Chris Kelso, Yeunjin Kim, Rich Kron, Randy Landsberg, Melanie Simet, Kyle Story.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Richard G. Kron; Randall H. Landsberg
KICP Students: Louis Abramson; Alissa Bans; Matthew B. Bayliss; Nicole Fields; Florin Ionita; Christopher M. Kelso; Yeunjin Kim; Melanie Simet; Kyle Story
"The Dark Universe", Cosmology Short Course
September 24 - 26, 2010 | KICP, Chicago, IL
The Dark Universe, 2010

For over 70 years, astrophysicists have had indications that much of our universe is made up of dim or invisible material. Today, a wide variety of astronomical observations all point us to the conclusion that the vast majority (about 95%) of the energy and mass in our universe is not made up of atoms, but instead consists of exotic and rather poorly understood substances we call dark matter and dark energy. This short course will discuss what we know about dark matter and dark energy, and how we came to learn that they exist. We will also explore how future experiments might help us to better understand dark matter and dark energy, and roles that they play in our universe's past, present, and future.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Juan I. Collar; Scott Dodelson; Joshua A. Frieman; Daniel Hooper; Edward W. Kolb; Andrey V. Kravtsov; Randall H. Landsberg; Mark Subbarao; Michael S. Turner
Microwave Detection of Air Showers Workshop
October 4 - 8, 2010 | KICP, Chicago
Website | Online Materials

Organizers: Pedro Facal, Maria Monasor, Paolo Privitera, Luis C. Reyes, Benjamin Rouille d'Orfeuil

Recent lab measurements suggest that the detection of microwave emission from air showers, caused by free electrons collisions with neutrals in the plasma left after the passage of the shower, can be used as a feasible technique to study ultra-high energy cosmic rays. This promising technique, if confirmed, would provide a calorimetric energy of the primary particle as fluorescence detectors in combination with a high-duty cycle and without the drawback of atmospheric attenuation (which requires continuous monitoring with specialized equipment).

Several activities based on this potential detection method are now ongoing in the cosmic-ray community. The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago will hold a workshop in microwave radio detection of UHECRs. The objective of the workshop is to contrast ideas and current efforts while aiming towards an effective coordination of the different projects. Time will be dedicated to discuss the different approaches, simulation tools, and hardware solutions.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Pedro Facal; Maria Monasor; Paolo Privitera; Luis C. Reyes; Benjamin Rouille d'Orfeuil
KICP Students: Nick Hollon; Christopher Williams
Scientific projects: Microwave Detection of Air Showers (MIDAS)
Midwest Town Hall meeting on New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
October 6, 2010 | 3:00 PM | University of Chicago, Kersten KPTC 106

The Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics are pleased to host a Midwest Town Hall meeting on New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, the recently released astronomy decadal survey.

The program will be held on Wednesday October 6, 2010 in Kersten KPTC 106 and will begin at 3 pm and end at 6 pm. It will consist of a 50 minute presentation by Astro2010 Committee members John Carlstrom, Joshua Frieman, Dan McCammon and Michael Turner, with the remainder of the time for questions, comments, and discussion. This town hall is part of the community response to Astro2010 that will culminate a Town Hall meeting at the Seattle AAS in January 2011.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom; Joshua A. Frieman; Michael S. Turner
Chandrasekhar Centennial Symposium
October 15 - 17, 2010 | Chicago, IL
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics for key discoveries that led to the currently accepted theory on the later evolutionary stages of massive stars.

Organizer: Robert M. Wald

KICP is a co-sponsor of the Symposium.

October 19, 2010 will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. This symposium is an occasion for those who knew Chandra to commemorate his life and work, and for those who did not know him to experience firsthand some of the impact he had on 20th century science. We will have an opening reception on October 15 and full days of scientific talks on October 16 and 17. The banquet will be held on the evening of October 16.

Prior to the start of the Symposium, the 2010 Gruber Cosmology Prize will be awarded. (The recipient will be announced on June 2.) The ceremony will begin at 4:30 PM in Assembly Hall at International House, 1414 East 59th Street, and will be followed by a lecture by the recipient. See for more information about the Gruber Prize.

* Oct. 15: Opening Reception celebrating the 100th birthday of Lalitha Chandrasekhar, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Main Lounge and Assembly Hall, International House, 1414 East 59th Street
* Oct. 16:
o Symposium talks, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm, Assembly Hall, International House, 1414 East 59th Street
o Banquet, 7:00 pm, Hutchinson Commons, Reynolds Club, 1135 East 57th Street
* Oct. 17: Symposium talks, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm, Assembly Hall, International House, 1414 East 59th Street

Related Links:
KICP Members: Robert M. Wald
Simon P. Swordy Memorial
November 18 - 19, 2010 | University of Chicago
Simon P. Swordy, KICP senior member

Organizers: Scott P. Wakely, Dietrich Muller

The Departments of Physics, of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Enrico Fermi Institute, and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics invite you to


Physics Colloquium in honor of Simon Swordy
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 4:15 pm
Kersten Physics Teaching Center Auditorium (KPTC 106)
"Antimatter in cosmic rays", Greg Tarle (University of Michigan)
There will be a wine and cheese reception following the colloquium.

Symposium on Current Topics in Astroparticle Physics
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 9 am - 1 pm
Research Institutes Building, Room 480

Confirmed speakers include: Steven W. Barwick (University of California, Irvine), James H. Buckley (Washington University), Donald C. Ellison (North Carolina State University), Johannes Knapp (University of Leeds, UK), Dietrich Müller (University of Chicago), Steve Ritz (University of California, Santa Cruz), and Floyd Stecker (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center).

Memorial Service with Family, Friends and Colleagues
Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 2:30 pm - 4 pm
Auditorium of Ida Noyes Hall
Refreshments will be served following the service.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Dietrich Muller; Simon P. Swordy; Scott P. Wakely
Surface Area, Yerkes Winter Institute
December 27 - 29, 2010 | Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI
Space Explorers Instructors, 2010
Photo Gallery

The 2010 KICP Yerkes Winter Institute explored the importance of surface area. Over three days, students cycled through three daytime laboratories ranging from a parachute experiment, "What a Drag", to the basics of friction, "Slip Sliding Away", to the influence of surface area on reaction rates, "Plop Plop Fizz Fizz...". Nighttime activities included exploring the wonders of the winter sky by hunting for constellations, satellites, and planets using both naked eyes and binoculars. The birth and evolution of stars were also investigated by observing the Pleides and the Orion Nebula with the 24-inch telescope. While, another evening lab explored the importance of "collisional cross sections," in physical, chemical, and even astronomical reactions by examining the concept of cross sections via a kinesthetic learning experience, aka a snowball fight. The instructors in residence included five KICP graduate students and a public school teacher, another half dozen KICP member helped to design experiments and plan the institute.

Instructors: Louis Abramson, Alissa Bans, Immanuel Buder, Matt Bayliss, Nicole Fields, Walter Glogowski.

Related Links:
KICP Students: Louis Abramson; Alissa Bans; Matthew B. Bayliss; Immanuel Buder; Nicole Fields