KICP News



 
Congratulations to Dr. Alan Zablocki!
November 11, 2014
Congratulations to Dr. Alan Zablocki!
Congratulations to Alan Zablocki for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "Constraining Neutrinos and Dark Energy with the Angular Clustering of Galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey."

"Over the last decade, cosmological observations have placed increasingly stringent upper bounds on the masses of neutrinos, while observations of neutrino oscillations imply a lower bound. Alan's thesis provides a detailed forecast of the constraints that the Dark Energy Survey (DES) will be able to place on neutrino mass in the next few years, accounting for uncertainties in dark energy and in the relative amplitude of galaxy clustering. He finds that DES has a good chance of shedding light on the pattern of neutrino masses (the mass hierarchy), an exciting possibility. His results will be of broad interest to cosmologists."
- Joshua A. Frieman, PhD advisor

Related Links:
KICP Members: Joshua A. Frieman
KICP Students: Alan Zablocki
Scientific projects: Dark Energy Survey (DES)
 
Prof. Craig Hogan has been awarded the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
November 10, 2014
Prof. Craig Hogan has been awarded the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
Prof. Craig Hogan, member of the High-Z Supernova Search Team was awarded the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics!

Congratulations to Prof. Hogan!

The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics recognizes major insights into the deepest questions of the Universe. Citation: For the most unexpected discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, rather than slowing as had been long assumed.

The 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics is a shared honor with Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam Riess leading a collaboration of 51 total prize recipients splitting the $3 million.

Read more

Related Links:
KICP Members: Craig J. Hogan
 
Congratulations to Vinicius Miranda for receiving the Schramm Fellowship
October 17, 2014
Congratulations to Vinicius Miranda for receiving the Schramm Fellowship
Vinicius Miranda, a KICP graduate student, was awarded the Schramm Fellowship. Miranda was nominated by Prof. Wayne Hu.

David N. Schramm (M.A. and S.B. '67, Ph.D. '71) was a professor for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Enrico Fermi Institute and Physics and was designated the Louis Block Professor of the Physical Sciences in 1982; as well as Vice President for Research in 1995.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Wayne Hu; Angela V. Olinto
KICP Students: Vinicius Miranda
 
Congratulations to Dr. Nicole Fields!
October 8, 2014
Congratulations to Dr. Nicole Fields!
Congratulations to Nicole Fields for successfully defending her PhD dissertation on "CosI: Development of a Low Threshold Detector for the Observation of Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering."

"Nicole's thesis describes the development of a detector capable of measuring the process of coherent elastic scattering of neutrinos off nuclei. This is the same process expected to mediate dominant interactions from WIMP dark matter candidates. First proposed 40 years ago, it hasn't been experimentally confirmed yet. Nicole's thesis discusses a full feasibility study with a prototype, and the installation of the detector at the SNS source in Oak Ridge National Laboratory".
- Juan I. Collar, PhD advisor

Nicole will be working for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as a Health Physicist in Lisle, IL.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Juan I. Collar
KICP Students: Nicole Fields
Scientific projects: Coherent Germanium Neutrino Technology (CoGeNT)
 
President Obama Meets U.S. Laureates of 2014 Kavli Prizes
August 1, 2014
At the White House yesterday, President Barack Obama welcomed the four American laureates of the 2014 Kavli Prizes - prizes awarded to scientists who have made seminal advances in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

Joined by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Associate Director Jo Handelsman, the President congratulated Kavli Prize Laureates Alan H. Guth (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Andrei D. Linde (Stanford University), John O'Keefe (University College London) and Marcus E. Raichle (Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine).

Accompanying the laureates were Rockell N. Hankin, Chairman of The Kavli Foundation, Robert W. Conn, President and CEO of The Kavli Foundation, Miyoung Chun, Executive Vice President of Science Programs of The Kavli Foundation, and Kare R. Aas, the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States.

"This year's Kavli Laureates are working on the frontiers of human knowledge and capability, from the far reaches of deep space to the intricate neural networks of the mind," said John P. Holdren, President Obama's Science Advisor. "Achievements like these will no doubt inspire dreamers across the Nation to ask bold questions and take on the challenge of discovering answers."

"We could not be more grateful to President Obama for honoring these laureates, or for the President's strong and continuing commitment to science," said Rockell N. Hankin. "The U.S. laureates exemplify the very best of what science can achieve in this country. Along with being a tremendous honor, this visit provides us a moment to pause and appreciate just how important science is to the nation and all humanity."

"It's been The Kavli Foundation's great honor to join with the President in his efforts to advance science in the United States, particularly by playing a catalytic role in the BRAIN Initiative, which is a national initiative to produce a dynamic picture of the brain in action," said Robert W. Conn. "We thank the President for so strongly shining a light on the importance of truly basic scientific research."

The 2014 Kavli Prizes laureates were selected for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation, for transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics and for the discovery of specialized brain networks for memory and cognition.

The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics is shared by Alan H. Guth, Andrei D. Linde, and Alexei A. Starobinsky (Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia). The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience is shared by Thomas W. Ebbesen (Universite Louis Pasteur, Universite de Strasbourg, France), Stefan W. Hell (Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany), and Sir John B. Pendry (Imperial College London, UK). The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is shared by Brenda Milner (Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Canada), John O'Keefe and Marcus E. Raichle.

The Kavli Prize is a partnership between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The Prize was established to recognize outstanding scientific research, honor pioneering scientists, promote public understanding of scientists and their work, and foster international cooperation among scientists.

The 2014 Kavli Prize Laureates will receive their medals this fall during a ceremony held in Oslo, Norway. For more information about the laureates and upcoming events, visit www.kavliprize.org.

Read more >>
 
Congratulations to Dr. Eric Baxter!
July 18, 2014
Congratulations to Dr. Eric Baxter!
Congratulations to Eric Baxter for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "Measuring Gravitational Lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background by Galaxy Clusters."

Related Links:
KICP Members: Scott Dodelson
KICP Students: Eric J. Baxter
 
Congratulations to Louis Abramson for winning a Harper Dissertation Fellowship!
June 12, 2014
Louis Abramson, KICP graduate student
Louis Abramson, KICP graduate student
Dear Colleagues,

Please join me in congratulating Louis Abramson for winning a William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year. One of the University of Chicago's highest honors, the award recognizes significant achievement during graduate studies and professional promise.

Congratulations Louis!!

Angela V. Olinto,
Homer J. Livingston Professor and Chair Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics

Related Links:
KICP Members: Angela V. Olinto
KICP Students: Louis Abramson
 
Nine Scientific Pioneers Receive the 2014 Kavli Prizes
May 29, 2014
Nine Scientific Pioneers Receive the 2014 Kavli Prizes
Nine pioneering scientists have been named this year's recipients of the Kavli Prizes - prizes that recognize scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. This year's laureates were selected for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation, for transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics and for the discovery of specialized brain networks for memory and cognition.

Kavli Prize in Astrophysics
The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics is shared between Alan H. Guth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Andrei D. Linde, Stanford University, USA, and Alexei A. Starobinsky, Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia. They receive the prize "for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation". The theory of cosmic inflation, proposed and developed by the three prize winners, has revolutionized our thinking about the Universe.

According to this theory, very soon after our universe came into existence it underwent a short-lived phase of exponential expansion. During this brief period the universe expanded by a huge factor - hence the name inflation. The consequences of this episode were momentous for the evolution of the cosmos.The field of inflation theory now occupies thousands of theorists, and many variations of inflation are being actively debated.

Kavli Prize in Nanoscience
The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience is shared between Thomas W. Ebbesen, Universite Louis Pasteur, Universite de Strasbourg, France, Stefan W. Hell, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany, and Sir John B. Pendry, Imperial College London, UK.

They receive the prize "for transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics that have broken long-held beliefs about the limitations of the resolution limits of optical microscopy and imaging".

With their respective work, they have challenged established beliefs about the resolution limits of optical imaging, showing that light can interact with nanostructures smaller than its wavelength.

Seeing at the 'nanoscale' was long considered to be limited in visible resolution by the finite wavelength of 'light', so that only objects larger than ~ 200 nanometers could be imaged. This is about 100 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

Each of this year's prize winners, through their different insights and routes, has independently advanced our ability to 'see' nanostructures using 'ordinary' light. This ability to see and image nanoscale objects is a critical prerequisite to further advances in the broader field of nanoscience.

Kavli Prize in Neuroscience
The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is shared between Brenda Milner, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Canada, John O'Keefe, University College London, UK, and Marcus E. Raichle, Washington University in St.Louis School of Medicine, USA. They receive the prize "for the discovery of specialized brain networks for memory and cognition".

The recipients of the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience have all played major roles in advancing our understanding of memory and in the development of techniques to measure the brain. They have discovered that these functions are produced by specialized systems in the brain, which they analysed through a variety of research approaches. They have found the specific regions of the brain that are involved in memory, and how specialized nerve cells perform different roles.

The higher cognitive functions of our brains such as attention, memory, and planning are crucial to create our rich mental lives: memory is essential for humans, from the recognition of where we are, through learning new skills, to being able to recall events. In humans memory can be said to define who we are, and we know that loss of memory can have devastating effects on an individual's personality. Knowing how memory function should work in healthy people could open the door to understanding what has changed in patients with dementia and memory loss.

About the Kavli Prizes
The Kavli Prize is a partnership between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation (USA) and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The Kavli Prizes were initiated by and named after Fred Kavli (1927 - 2013), founder of The Kavli Foundation which is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity, promoting public understanding of scientific research, and supporting scientists and their work.

Kavli Prize recipients are chosen biennially by three prize committees comprised of distinguished international scientists recommended by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society. After making their selection for award recipients, the recommendations of these prize committees are confirmed by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

The 2014 Kavli Prizes will be awarded in Oslo, Norway, on the 9th of September. His Majesty King Harald will present the prizes to the laureates. This year's ceremony will be hosted by Alan Alda and Haddy N'jie.

The ceremony is part of Kavli Prize Week - a week of special programs that celebrate extraordinary achievements in science, educate the public on important scientific advances, and bring together distinguished members of the international community to discuss key global issues in science and science policy.

For more detailed information on each of the prizes, the 2014 laureates and their work, and Kavli Prize ceremony and other events during the Kavli Prize Week in September.

Read more >>
 
SPT Google Trekker Photos
April 8, 2014
SPT Google Trekker Photos
Virtually visit the South Pole Telescope and the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which is operated by the National Science foundation via panoramic in Google Street View format. SPT is supported by NSF-OPP and DOE.

Photos taken by Kyle Story.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Students: Kyle Story
Scientific projects: South Pole Telescope (SPT)
 
Congratulations to Prof. Nick Gnedin!
March 20, 2014
Congratulations to Prof. Nick Gnedin!
Congratulations to Prof. Nick Gnedin for becoming a Fellow of the American Physical Society!

Citation: "For pioneering work in computational cosmology, which has led to a deep understanding of the Lyman alpha forest and reionization of the universe."

Related Links:
KICP Members: Nickolay Y. Gnedin
 
Cosmic WOW: BICEP2 announces evidence for the gravity waves produced by inflation!
March 17, 2014
"BICEP2 I: DETECTION OF B-mode POLARIZATION AT DEGREE ANGULAR SCALES" by the BICEP2 Collaboration
BICEP2 Results Release | BICEP2 Article
KICP Faculty member Abigail Vieregg and KICP Fellow Christopher Sheehy are part of the BICEP2 Team that today announced evidence for the discovery of the CMB B-mode signature of gravity waves produced during inflation. KICP Director Michael Turner said that if this result holds up, it will be the biggest event in cosmology since the discovery of CMB anisotropy or the accelerated expansion of the Universe. Inflation-produced gravity waves are called the smoking' gun of inflation - and for good reason. Their amplitude reveals the expansion rate during inflation and the scale of inflation (about 10^-38 sec and 10^16 GeV respectively for the BICEP2 detection) and confirms the third key prediction of inflation. The first two predictions of inflation - almost scale-invariant density perturbations and a flat Universe - are almost postdictions, as both had been put forth as features of any sensible cosmological model before inflation was postulated in the early 1980s. Because of the large number of highly sensitive CMB experiments that are taking or analyzing data (including SPT and Planck), the BICEP result will be checked very soon. Read more Michael Turner's comments.

"What an amazing discovery. The BICEP2 results are truly fantastic. They provide -- at very high confidence -- evidence for the inflationary origin of our universe, probing physics at the energy scales of grant unified theories and the first instants of the universe. While the signal is tiny -- they measured the polarization of the cosmic microwave background with a sensitivity of 30 millionths of the 3 K background -- it is actually stronger than most cosmologists thought it would be. This means that BICEP2 data along with KECK Array and SPTpol data and upcoming BICEP3 and SPT-3G data all from the same region of the sky, will allow us to not only confirm the BICEP2 results, but also to constrain the inflation model further. it is a fantastic day for cosmology and indeed for all of physics."
- John Carlstrom



Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom; Christopher D. Sheehy; Michael S. Turner; Abigail G. Vieregg
Scientific projects: BICEP2/The Keck Array/BICEP3
 
KICP scientists make the case for annihilating WIMPs in the galactic center
March 6, 2014
KICP scientists make the case for annihilating WIMPs in the galactic center
KICP astrophysicists Dan Hooper and Tim Linden are co-authors on a recent study which makes a compelling case that the observed gamma-ray excess coming from the central area of our galaxy is due the annihilation of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles.

Article: "The Characterization of the Gamma-Ray Signal from the Central Milky Way: A Compelling Case for Annihilating Dark Matter"; Tansu Daylan, Douglas P. Finkbeiner, Dan Hooper, Tim Linden, Stephen K. N. Portillo, Nicholas L. Rodd, Tracy R. Slatyer [PDF]

Related Links:
KICP Members: Daniel Hooper; Tim Linden
 
The KICP will welcome 3 new Fellows in the Autumn of 2014
February 17, 2014
The KICP will welcome 3 new Fellows in the Autumn of 2014
Jason Henning will join us as a joint NSF AAPF and KICP Fellow after completing his degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he helped design and build the receiver and its detectors for the SPTpol CMB polarization experiment. As a KICP Fellow Jason will continue his work with SPT, lending his experience to the design of SPT-3G as well as placing new constraints on cosmological parameters using CMB polarization measurements.

Silvia Galli took her PhD between the University of Rome 'Sapienza' and the APC laboratory in Paris. She is now finishing her first postdoc at the IAP in Paris. In the last couple of years, Silvia mainly worked on developing the likelihood code and determining cosmological parameters for the Planck satellite. She is also interested in using cosmological probes, such as the CMB or clusters of galaxies, to constrain fundamental physics, such as the variation of fundamental constants or the annihilation of dark matter particles.

Dan Scolnic will join the KICP as a Fellow after receiving his degree from Johns Hopkins University. Dan's research focuses on observations of Type Ia supernovae to measure dark energy and other major components of the Universe. Dan has worked extensively on the Pan-STARRs science survey. At the KICP, Dan will continue his research as part of the Dark Energy Survey.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Silvia Galli; Jason Henning; Daniel Scolnic
Scientific projects: Dark Energy Survey (DES); South Pole Telescope (SPT)
 
Congratulations to Angela Olinto!
December 6, 2013
Congratulations to Angela Olinto!
Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to announce that effective 1 January 2014, Angela Olinto will be the Homer J. Livingston Professor. This appointment is in recognition of Angela's contributions to scholarship, teaching, and the intellectual community of the University.

Please join me in congratulating Angela!

Rocky Kolb
Dean of the Physical Sciences

Related Links:
KICP Members: Edward W. Kolb; Angela V. Olinto
 
A peek at the the 4th floor of the William Eckhardt Research Center building
November 26, 2013
A peek at the the 4th floor of the William Eckhardt Research Center building
Slide show
The KICP's new home on the 4th floor of the William Eckhardt Research Center (WERC) as seen on November 8,2013.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Michael S. Turner
 
Fred Kavli Friend and Benefactor of the KICP, 1927-2013
November 22, 2013
Fred Kavli with KICP faculty
Fred Kavli with KICP faculty
Fred Kavli was a powerful voice for the power of basic research to advance humankind and a dear friend of the KICP. His vision, passion and enthusiasm led to the creation and subsequent nurturing of the current family of seventeen Kavli Institutes. As we approach our 10th anniversary, we are very proud to be the third Kavli Institute established. We will miss Fred but have fond memories of our many interactions with him, especially his visits to Chicago and our Institute.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom; Sean M. Carroll; James W. Cronin; Wayne Hu; Andrey V. Kravtsov; Stephan S. Meyer; Angela V. Olinto; Simon P. Swordy; Michael S. Turner; Monica Valluri; Bruce D. Winstein
 
Congratulations to Dr. Alissa Bans!
September 26, 2013
Dr. Alissa Bans
Dr. Alissa Bans
Congratulations to Alissa Bans for successfully defending her PhD dissertation on "Large-scale Magnetic Fields in Protoplanetary Disks."

Alissa has received a postdoctoral fellowship at the Adler Planetarium.

Related Links:
KICP Students: Alissa Bans
 
Congratulations to Dr. Abigail Crites!
August 30, 2013
Dr. Abigail Crites
Dr. Abigail Crites
Congratulations to Abigail Crites for successfully defending her PhD dissertation on "A Measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization with SPTpol."

Abigail has received a KISS Postdoctoral Fellowship at Caltech.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom
KICP Students: Abigail T. Crites
Scientific projects: South Pole Telescope (SPT)
 
Detection of B-mode Polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background with Data from the South Pole Telescope
July 23, 2013
FIG. 1: (Left panel): Wiener-filtered E-mode polarization measured by SPTpol at 150 GHz. (Center panel): Wiener-ltered CMB lensing potential inferred from CIB fluctuations measured by Herschel at 500 μm. (Right panel): Gravitational lensing B-mode estimate synthesized using Eq. (1). The lower left corner of each panel indicates the blue(-)/red(+) color scale.
FIG. 1: (Left panel): Wiener- filtered E-mode polarization measured by SPTpol at 150 GHz. (Center panel): Wiener- ltered CMB lensing potential inferred from CIB fluctuations measured by Herschel at 500 μm. (Right panel): Gravitational lensing B-mode estimate synthesized using Eq. (1). The lower left corner of each panel indicates the blue(-)/red(+) color scale.
Gravitational lensing of the cosmic microwave background generates a curl pattern in the observed polarization. This "B-mode" signal provides a measure of the projected mass distribution over the entire observable Universe and also acts as a contaminant for the measurement of primordial gravity-wave signals. In this letter we present the first detection of gravitational lensing B modes, using first-season data from the polarization-sensitive receiver on the South Pole Telescope (SPTpol). We construct a template for the lensing B-mode signal by combining E-mode polarization measured by SPTpol with estimates of the lensing potential from a Herschel-SPIRE map of the cosmic infrared background. We compare this template to the B modes measured directly by SPTpol, finding a non-zero correlation at 7.7 sigma significance. The correlation has an amplitude and scale-dependence consistent with theoretical expectations, is robust with respect to analysis choices, and constitutes the first measurement of a powerful cosmological observable.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Bradford A. Benson; John E. Carlstrom; Clarence L. Chang; Thomas M. Crawford; Stephen Hoover; Jared Mehl; Stephan S. Meyer; Steve Padin; Kathryn K. Schaffer
KICP Students: Lindsey E. Bleem; Abigail T. Crites; Tyler Natoli; Kyle Story
Scientific projects: South Pole Telescope (SPT)
 
Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Williams!
June 25, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Williams!
Congratulations to Christopher Williams for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "A Search For Microwave Emission From Cosmic Ray Air Showers."

"The unsolved mystery of ultra-high energy cosmic rays demands a novel approach to the detection of these very rare particles. Chris - a natural-born experimentalist - has made an outstanding contribution with his thesis, by exploring the potential of microwave emission from extensive air showers through a series of careful and accurate measurements. He brought to life MIDAS, an exploratory detector currently taking data at the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina, and MAYBE, an electron beam experiment at the Argonne National Laboratory. Measurements performed by these instruments are the most precise of a world-wide campaign to detect microwave emission from cosmic rays."
- Paolo Privitera, PhD advisor

Christopher has received a fellow position at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (Stanford).

Related Links:
KICP Members: Paolo Privitera
KICP Students: Christopher Williams
Scientific projects: Microwave Detection of Air Showers (MIDAS)
 
Daniel Grin will bring his NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship to the KICP
June 18, 2013
Daniel Grin will bring his NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship to the KICP
Daniel Grin is interested in a variety of topics in theoretical cosmology and astrophysics, including cosmological recombination, inflationary perturbations, distortions of the CMB blackbody, isocurvature fluctuations, primordial/non-primordial CMB non-Gaussianity and its optimal statistical estimation, the cosmic microwave background more generally, axions, dark matter halo profiles, dynamical processes near the galactic center, resonant friction/relaxation, nonstandard thermal histories for the early universe, modifications to general relativity, gravitational lensing, and Lyman limit absorbers.

Daniel received an undergraduate degree in Physics from Princeton University in 2003, a Master of Studies degree in Philosophy from Oxford in 2004, and his Ph.D. in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology in 2010, after which he has been a 3-year postdoctoral member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. As an NSF fellow Daniel will continue his research program and develop an astronomy outreach effort for Chicago senior citizens. When not doing physics, Daniel enjoys playing the cello, spending time outdoors, reading, exploring Chicago, and spending time with his wife and daughter.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Daniel Grin
 
Congratulations to Dr. Denis Erkal!
May 31, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Denis Erkal!
Congratulations to Denis Erkal for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "Investigating the Physics and Environment of Lyman Limit Systems in Cosmological Simulations."

"In his thesis Denis Erkal has modelled circumgalactic gas using state of the art cosmological simulations and compared model results with existing observations. Such comparisons provide unique and valuable information about how galaxies have assembled their baryonic mass and stellar feedback processes that accompany this assembly."
- Andrey Kravtsov, PhD advisor

Related Links:
KICP Members: Nickolay Y. Gnedin; Andrey V. Kravtsov
KICP Students: Denis Erkal
 
Kyle Story has been selected for a Dissertation Year Fellowship
May 31, 2013
Kyle Story has been selected for a Dissertation Year Fellowship
Kyle Story has been selected for a William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship for the 2013-14 academic year.

The intent of the award is two-fold: to recognize significant achievement and to facilitate completion of the doctoral degree. This award, one of the University of Chicago's highest honors, is given in recognition of your record of achievement and professional promise. The Harper Dissertation Fellowship provides a stipend of $10,000. The stipend will be disbursed in three equal parts at the start of the autumn, winter, and spring quarters.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom
KICP Students: Kyle Story
Scientific projects: South Pole Telescope (SPT)
 
Congratulations to Dr. Lindsey Bleem!
May 28, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Lindsey Bleem!
Congratulations to Lindsey Bleem for successfully defending her PhD dissertation on "A Multi-Wavelength Study of Optically Selected Galaxy Clusters from the Blanco Cosmology Survey."

"After making critical contributions to every aspect of the 10m South Pole Telescope (SPT) program, from testing the initial detectors at Chicago, optimizing the performance of the telescope at the South Pole, analyzing the cosmic microwave background data and leading the optical follow up observations and analysis, Lindsey's thesis has taken the first major step in the joint analysis of the SPT and optical survey data sets. This work thoroughly explores the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich signal of an optical selected sample of galaxy clusters, laying the groundwork and identifying the challenges for obtaining precision dark energy constraints from the much anticipated joint analysis of the SPT data with the upcoming optical data from the Dark Energy Survey."
- John Carlstrom, PhD advisor

Lindsey has received a Director's Fellowship at the Argonne National Laboratory.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom
KICP Students: Lindsey E. Bleem
 
Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Becker!
May 16, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Becker!
Congratulations to Matthew Becker for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "CALCLENS: Weak Lensing Simulations for Large-Area Sky Surveys and Second-Order Effects in Cosmic Shear Power Spectra."

"Matt's thesis work, in which he has developed a novel algorithm of computing distorsions of galaxy images using data from cosmological simulations, significantly advances our ability to make realistic theoretical predictions for upcoming wide area surveys aiming to map matter distribution in the universe on large scales."
- Andrey Kravtsov, PhD advisor

Matthew has received a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Andrey V. Kravtsov
KICP Students: Matthew Becker
 
The first COUPP-60 bubble at SNOLAB
May 1, 2013
The first COUPP-60 bubble at SNOLAB
Stereoscopic view of the first COUPP-60 bubble at SNOLAB. Visible on the sides are the strings of piezoelectric sensors used to discriminate between alpha radioactivity and nuclear recoils like those expected from dark matter interactions.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Juan I. Collar
Scientific projects: Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics (COUPP)
 
KICP postdocs and graduate students at the "Expanding Your Horizons" symposium
April 1, 2013
KICP postdocs and graduate students at the
Two KICP postdocs Ali Vanderveld and Elise Jennings as well as Ph.D. students Abigail Crites, Alissa Bans and Brittany Kamai took part in the "Expanding Your Horizons" (EYH) outreach event.
"Expanding Your Horizons" is a one day symposium for middle school girls showing them the exciting and diverse experiences science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers have to offer. Volunteers from the Chicago STEM community organize short, hands-on workshops to directly engage with the girls at a critical time in their development. EYH is a nationally recognized program and the University of Chicago is proud bring it to the Windy City!

Related Links:
KICP Members: Elise Jennings; Ali Vanderveld
KICP Students: Alissa Bans; Abigail T. Crites; Brittany Kamai
 
University of Chicago joins the Extreme Universe Space Observatory
March 5, 2013
University of Chicago joins the Extreme Universe Space Observatory
JEM-EUSO website

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awarded a $4.4 million grant to a collaboration of scientists at five U.S. universities and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to help build a telescope for deployment on the International Space Station in 2017.

The U.S. collaboration is part of a 13-nation effort to build the 2.5-meter ultraviolet telescope, called the Extreme Universe Space Observatory. The telescope will monitor the Earth's atmosphere searching for the mysterious source of the most energetic particles in the universe from the ISS's Japanese Experiment Module.

The source of these energetic particles, called ultra high-energy cosmic rays, has remained one of the great mysteries of science since French physicist Pierre Auger discovered them 75 years ago. These cosmic rays consist of protons and other subatomic scraps of matter that fly through the universe at almost light speed.

"The science goal is to discover the sources of ultra high-energy cosmic rays by observing their traces in the atmosphere looking 250 miles from the ISS down to the surface," said Angela Olinto, professor in astronomy & astrophysics at the University of Chicago. Olinto leads the U.S. collaboration, which includes scientists at the Colorado School of Mines, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Marshall Space Flight Center.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Angela V. Olinto
 
Pizza with Professors
February 20, 2013
Pizza with Professors
On February 19th, the Society of Women in Physics(SWIP) and the KICP joined forces to host "Pizza with Professors," a dinner and discussion about the joys and stresses of pursuing a career in physics. Professors and post-doctoral fellows from the KICP joined faculty from the Physics department in speaking with around 50 undergraduate Physics majors. The event was held in the Kersten Family Atrium of the University's Gordon Center for the Integrative Sciences. Participants left with a better appreciation of what a career in physics or a related field ultimately requires.

Slide show

Related Links:
KICP Members: Bradford A. Benson; Hsiao-Wen Chen; Joshua A. Frieman; Daniel E. Holz; Angela V. Olinto; M. Ted Ressell; Ali Vanderveld
 
Two JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellowship recipients to visit the KICP this year
January 30, 2013
Two JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellowship recipients to visit the KICP this year
Toshihiro Fujii of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research at the University of Tokyo will be visiting the KICP from April 1, 2013 until March 31, 2015. Toshihiro will be hosted by Paolo Privitera and will be working with Chicago members of the Pierre Auger Observatory. He intends to study the mass composition of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECR) and work on developing a large ground array of fluorescence detectors for UHECR detection.
Hayato Motohashi of the Research Center for the Early Universe at the University of Tokyo will visit the KICP between September 17, 2013 and September 16, 2015. Hayato will be hosted by Wayne Hu during his stay. His research interests include theoretical studies of inflation, dark energy, and modified theories of gravity.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Toshihiro Fujii; Wayne Hu; Hayato Motohashi; Paolo Privitera
Scientific projects: Pierre Auger Observatory (AUGER)