KICP Seminars & Colloquia, Current and Future
Upcoming Seminars

Seminar schedule for Current (Winter 2017) & Future Quarters
January 10, 2017
Astronomy Tuesday Seminar
Sasha Philippov
Princeton
How do pulsars shine?   [Abstract]
January 11, 2017
Astronomy Colloquium
Mark Voit
Michigan State University
Circumgalactic Precipitation   [Abstract]
January 18, 2017
Wednesday colloquium
Alex Drlica-Wagner
Fermilab
The Milky Way's Dark Companions   [Abstract]
January 20, 2017
Friday noon seminar
Jayden Newstead
Arizona State University
Coherent Neutrino Scattering: signal or background?
January 27, 2017
Friday noon seminar
Evangelos Sfakianakis
UIUC
From axion inflation to leptons, baryons and cosmological magnetic fields.   [Abstract]
January 31, 2017
Astronomy Tuesday Seminar
Erika Hamden
Caltech
Observing the faint universe in emission   [Abstract]
February 3, 2017
Friday noon seminar
Douglas Applegate
The University of Chicago
TBA   [Abstract]
February 17, 2017
Friday noon seminar
Yi-Zen Chu
University of Minnesota Duluth
Cosmological Gravitational Waves and Their Memories
February 22, 2017
Astronomy Colloquium
Michael Perryman
GAIA
TBA
February 24, 2017
Friday noon seminar
Zhong-Zhi Xianyu
Harvard University
Standard Model Background of the Cosmological Collider
February 28, 2017
Astronomy Tuesday Seminar
Raffaella Margutti
Northwestern
Astronomical Transients that defy all classification schemes   [Abstract]
March 3, 2017
Friday noon seminar
Andrew Wetzel
Carnegie Observatories, Caltech, UC Davis
The Latte Project: Simulating the Milky Way and its Satellite Dwarf
March 8, 2017
Astronomy Colloquium
Lynne Hillenbrand
Caltech
TBA
March 17, 2017
Friday noon seminar
Amy Lowitz
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Kinetic Inductance Detectors for 100 GHz CMB Polarimetry
 
WEDNESDAY COLLOQUIA
KICP Wednesday Colloquia: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in ERC 161 at 3:30 PM on Wednesdays. A reception will be held in the ERC 401 following the talk.

  • January 18, 2017 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161
    The Milky Way's Dark Companions
    Alex Drlica-Wagner, Fermilab

    Our Milky Way galaxy is surrounded by a host of small, dark-matter-dominated satellite galaxies. Over the past two years, the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) has nearly doubled the number of known Milky Way satellite galaxies compared to the previous 80 years combined. While these discoveries continue to help resolve the "missing satellites problem", they have also raised new questions about the influence of the Magellanic Clouds on the Milky Way's satellite population. In the near future, the rapidly growing population of dwarf galaxies will be sensitive to deviations from ΛCDM at small scales, while definitively testing whether the annihilation of dark matter particles could be responsible for excess gamma-ray emission from the Galactic center. I will summarize recent results, outstanding questions, and upcoming advancements in the study of the Milky Way's dark companions.

 
FRIDAY NOON SEMINARS
KICP Friday noon seminar: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in ERC 401 at Noon on Fridays.

  • January 20, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
    Coherent Neutrino Scattering: signal or background?
    Jayden Newstead, Arizona State University
  • January 27, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
    From axion inflation to leptons, baryons and cosmological magnetic fields.
    Evangelos Sfakianakis, UIUC

    Axions are attractive candidates for theories of large-field inflation that are capable of generating observable primordial gravitational wave backgrounds. These fields enjoy shift-symmetries that protect their role as inflatons from being spoiled by coupling to unknown UV physics. This symmetry also restricts the couplings of these axion fields to other matter fields. At lowest order, the only allowed interactions are derivative couplings to gauge fields and fermions. These derivative couplings lead to the biased production of fermion and gauge-boson helicity states during and after inflation. I will describe some recent work on preheating in axion-inflation models that are derivatively coupled to Abelian gauge-fields and fermion axial-currents. For an axion coupled to U(1) gauge fields it was found that preheating is efficient for a wide range of parameters. In certain cases the inflaton is seen to transfer all its energy to the gauge fields within a few oscillations. Identifying the gauge field as the hypercharge sector of the Standard Model can lead to the generation of cosmologically relevant magnetic fields. Coupling the inflaton-axion to Majorana fermions leads to the biased production of fermion helicity-states which can have interesting phenomenological implications for leptogenesis.
  • February 3, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
    TBA
    Douglas Applegate, The University of Chicago

    TBA
  • February 17, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
    Cosmological Gravitational Waves and Their Memories
    Yi-Zen Chu, University of Minnesota Duluth
  • February 24, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
    Standard Model Background of the Cosmological Collider
    Zhong-Zhi Xianyu, Harvard University
  • March 3, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
    The Latte Project: Simulating the Milky Way and its Satellite Dwarf
    Andrew Wetzel, Carnegie Observatories, Caltech, UC Davis
  • March 17, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
    Kinetic Inductance Detectors for 100 GHz CMB Polarimetry
    Amy Lowitz, University of Wisconsin - Madison

 
SPECIAL SEMINARS


 
OPEN GROUP SEMINARS


 
THURSDAY LUNCH DISCUSSIONS
KICP's Thunch: KICP Cosmology Lunch (Thunch) Weekly on Thursdays, Noon, ERC 401A.

Please join us for an informal lunch discussion, led by KICP fellows, of recent news and papers in cosmology. Topics range from experiment and observations to theory in all areas of KICP science. To submit or view papers for this week's Thunch please visit the Thunch website.


 
ASTRONOMY COLLOQUIA
Colloquia of the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in ERC 161 at 3:30 PM on Wednesdays. A reception will be held in Hubble Lounge (ERC 501) following the talk.

  • January 11, 2017 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161
    Circumgalactic Precipitation
    Mark Voit, Michigan State University

    Feedback from a central supermassive black hole is an essential component of galaxy evolution models. Without it, those models cannot produce realistic massive galaxies and galaxy clusters. However, the black-hole feedback mechanism remains mysterious. Somehow, accretion of matter onto the central black hole of a massive galaxy becomes precisely tuned so that it regulates radiative cooling and condensation of gas in a volume many orders of magnitude larger than the black-hole's gravitational zone of influence. I will discuss how the required coupling can arise through condensation and precipitation of cold clouds out of a galaxy's circumgalactic medium, and will show how a feedback mechanism that suspends the circumgalactic medium in a marginally unstable state can regulate star formation within galaxies.
  • February 22, 2017 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161
    TBA
    Michael Perryman, GAIA
    Note: Refreshments served at 4:45 PM, Hubble Lounge
  • March 8, 2017 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161
    TBA
    Lynne Hillenbrand, Caltech
    Note: Refreshments served at 4:45 PM, Hubble Lounge

 
ASTRONOMY TUESDAY SEMINARS

  • January 10, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 576
    How do pulsars shine?
    Sasha Philippov, Princeton

    The modeling of pulsar radio and gamma-ray emission suggests that in order to interpret the observations one needs to understand the field geometry and the plasma state in the emission region. In recent years, significant progress has been achieved in understanding the magnetospheric structure in the limit of abundant plasma supply. However, the very presence of dense plasma everywhere in the magnetosphere is not obvious. Even the region where the observed emission is produced is subject to debate. To address this from first principles, we constructed global kinetic simulations of pulsar magnetospheres using relativistic Particle-in-Cell codes, which capture the physics of plasma production and particle acceleration. In this talk I will describe how plasma is produced in magnetospheres of pulsars. I will present modeling of high-energy lightcurves, calculated self-consistently from particle motion in the pulsar magnetosphere. I will also show evidence that observed radio emission is powered by non-stationary discharge at the polar cap.
  • January 31, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 576
    Observing the faint universe in emission
    Erika Hamden, Caltech

    In the last several years, groundbreaking instruments have detected significant Lyman-alpha emission from the circumgalactic media (CGM) of z>2 galaxies, providing an initial corroboration to results from years of absorption line studies. Taken together, these indicate the presence of vast reservoirs of gas that we are only just beginning to observe and understand. To probe when star formation declines throughout the universe, we need to conduct similar observations at lower redshifts, moving into the UV. The Faint Intergalactic medium Redshifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall-2) is a balloon-born UV multi-object spectrograph designed to detect Lyman-alpha emission from the circumgalactic medium (CGM) around z~0.7 galaxies. In this talk, I will discuss the science drivers for this mission and its current status as we prepare for a Fall 2017 flight. In addition to groundbreaking science, FIREBall-2 will flight test several new technologies in a balloon setting, including photon counting, high efficiency UV detectors. I will discuss these technologies in the context of their impact on future space missions.
  • February 28, 2017 | 12:00 PM | ERC 576
    Astronomical Transients that defy all classification schemes
    Raffaella Margutti, Northwestern

    Observations are drawing a complex picture of the latest stages of massive stars evolution and their explosions. In this seminar I concentrate on two among the least understood aspects of stellar evolution, adopting an observational perspective: How do massive stars loose a significant fraction of their mass in the years preceding the explosion? What powers the most luminous stellar explosions in our Universe? I address these questions by taking advantage from panchromatic observations of two remarkable transients: (i) the "normal" envelope-stripped SN2014C, which experienced a dramatic metamorphosis and evolved from Type I into Type II supernova over a timescale of a few months, thus violating the supernova classification scheme that hat has existed for decades. (ii) I will then describe the recent results from our efforts to constrain the energy source of Super-Luminous SNe, with a case study of the "bactrian" transient ASASSN-15lh, which might be the first element of an entirely new class of transients.

 
ASTRONOMY SPECIAL SEMINARS