KICP Seminars & Colloquia, Current and Future
Today's Seminar
Upcoming Seminars

Seminar schedule for Current (Winter 2015) & Future Quarters
January 7, 2015
Astronomy colloquium
Neal Dalal
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Probing structure formation beyond LCDM   [Abstract]
January 9, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Miguel A. Mostafa
Penn State University
First results from the High Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory
January 14, 2015
Astronomy colloquium
Adrian Liu
University of California, Berkeley
Frontiers in Cosmology and Radio Astronomy: 21cm cosmology as a probe of reionization and beyond   [Abstract]
January 16, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Sean Tulin
York University
Dark matter halos as particle colliders   [Abstract]
January 21, 2015
Astronomy colloquium
Gwen Rudie
Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science
The Circumgalactic and Interstellar Medium of Star-Forming Galaxies at 2<z<3   [Abstract]
January 23, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Andrew B Newman
Carnegie Observatories
Observing the Assembly of Dark Matter and Baryons in Massive Galaxies   [Abstract]
January 28, 2015
Astronomy colloquium
Leslie Rogers
Caltech
Origins and Demographics of Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune Sized Planets   [Abstract]
January 30, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Gordan Krnjaic
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Decisively probing sub-GeV vector-portal dark matter with next generation electron-beam experiments   [Abstract]
February 4, 2015
Wednesday colloquium
Carlos Wagner
University of Chicago/Argonne
Baryogenesis and New Physics   [Abstract]
February 6, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Tobias Marriage
Johns Hopkins University
Double Feature: ''SZ in AGN'' and ''The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor''   [Abstract]
February 19, 2015
Open Group seminar
Matthew Dolan
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
A taste of dark matter: Flavour constraints on light mediators
February 20, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Marko Simonovic
IAS, Princeton
Consistency Relations for Large Scale Structure   [Abstract]
March 6, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Simona Murgia
UC Irvine
Indirect Detection of Dark Matter with Gamma Rays
April 22, 2015
Wednesday colloquium
Maura McLaughlin
West Virginia University
Building a Galactic Scale Gravitational Wave Observatory
April 24, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Eugene Churazov
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Gamma-rays from type Ia supernova SN2014J
May 8, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Cora Dvorkin
Harvard University
TBA
May 15, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Alyson Brooks
Rutgers University
TBD
May 22, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Sean McWilliams
West Virginia University
Probing the environments of supermassive black-hole binaries with pulsar timing arrays   [Abstract]
 
Wednesday colloquia
KICP Wednesday Colloquia: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in BSLC 001 at 3 PM on Wednesdays. A reception will be held in the LASR conference room following the talk.

  • February 4, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    Baryogenesis and New Physics
    Carlos Wagner, University of Chicago/Argonne

    Although physical reality seems to be well described by the Standard Models of Particle Physics and Cosmology, there are many open questions that do not have a direct answer within this framework. An important one is why is there Matter and not Antimatter in the Universe. The conditions for a dynamical generation of the asymmetry between matter and antimatter (baryogenesis) are well known, but cannot be fulfilled within the Standard Models framework. I will explain what are the basic conditions that must be fulfilled for baryogenesis to occur, some general classes of models in which baryogenesis is realized and the possible tests of these models in the near future.
  • April 22, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    Building a Galactic Scale Gravitational Wave Observatory
    Maura McLaughlin, West Virginia University
    Note: Reception at 4 PM in the LASR conference room.

 
Friday noon seminars
KICP Friday noon seminar: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in LASR conference room at Noon on Fridays.

  • January 9, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    First results from the High Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory
    Miguel A. Mostafa, Penn State University
  • January 16, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Dark matter halos as particle colliders
    Sean Tulin, York University

    Astrophysical observations of structure can be used to study the non-gravitational particle interactions of dark matter. I discuss small scale structure anomalies for cold dark matter and their possible implications for dark matter physics. New results on cluster scales provide a new important handle for constraining dark matter's particle interactions.
  • January 23, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Observing the Assembly of Dark Matter and Baryons in Massive Galaxies
    Andrew B Newman, Carnegie Observatories

    Observing the Assembly of Dark Matter and Baryons in Massive Galaxies
    Massive galaxies are central to many pressing questions in galaxy formation and cosmology. Observations of the evolving distributions of baryons and dark matter within massive galaxies can constrain the astrophysical processes that drive their formation and growth. In the first part of the talk, I will present results from a program aimed at understanding the assembly of the stellar halos of massive galaxies over the last 10 Gyr. Beginning as compact "nuggets" at z~2, these galaxies undergo a remarkably rapid period of growth. By combining HST imaging with unique spectroscopic surveys conducted on large telescopes, I will show how measurements of the sizes, stellar populations, internal dynamics, and satellite systems of z>1 massive galaxies have provided new insights into their remarkable growth. In the second part, I will turn to the dark matter distribution at the centers of massive galaxies and clusters. Through a synthesis of multiple observational probes, including strong lensing, weak lensing, and stellar dynamics, I have constrained the slope of the inner dark matter density profile. Surprisingly, this analysis implies a slope that is shallower than the universal CDM profile in the central ~30 kpc of massive clusters. I will review attempts to explain this finding in recent numerical simulations as a consequence of the "back-reaction" of baryons on their host halos, or alternatively as a possible probe of dark matter microphysics.
  • January 30, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Decisively probing sub-GeV vector-portal dark matter with next generation electron-beam experiments
    Gordan Krnjaic, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

    Decisively probing sub-GeV vector-portal dark matter with next generation electron-beam experiments
    In a broad class of consistent models, MeV to few-GeV dark matter (DM) interacts with ordinary matter through kinetically-mixed vector mediators ("dark photons"). We outline a two-pronged experimental program to decisively test nearly all such scenarios. The first prong involves placing a suitable meter-scale detector downstream of an existing electron beam-dump to directly observe DM produced in electron-nucleus collisions. Once produced, the DM scatters in the detector and induces highly-energetic electron or nuclear recoils. This approach can explore a well-motivated and otherwise inaccessible region of DM parameter space with sensitivity several orders of magnitude beyond existing direct detection and LHC constraints. This approach would also probe invisibly decaying dark-photons down to kinetic mixing of epsilon ~ 10^{-4}, including the range of parameters relevant for explaining the (g-2)_{mu} discrepancy. The second, more powerful prong of this discovery program relies entirely on the distinctive kinematics of the DM production in electron-nucleus interactions. In this setup, individual electrons are fired through a thin target adjacent to a tracker and calorimeter. If DM particles are produced as the electron passes through the target, they carry away a large fraction of the incident electron's electron energy. Surprisingly, with suitable trigger and kinematic requirements, such events serve as powerful probes of DM-electron interactions and can explore kinetic mixing parameters down to epsilon ~ 10^{-7}, which covers nearly all the parameter space consistent with a thermal relic abundance, thereby testing all vector-portal models that have ever achieved thermal equilibrium with the Standard Model.
  • February 6, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Double Feature: ''SZ in AGN'' and ''The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor''
    Tobias Marriage, Johns Hopkins University

    Part 1: Evidence is mounting that Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are responsible for the lack of star-formation in the most massive galaxies. Attention has been drawn to the role of energetic radio-mode feedback from AGN in heating the gas around massive halos and preventing star-formation. I will present the first measurement using the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect of the pressure of the gas around radio-loud AGN. Part 2: The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) is a project to measure the imprint of gravitational waves from inflation in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background. I will present an overview of the CLASS strategy for measuring the E-modes and B-modes from both recombination and reionization and give an update on the project status.
  • February 20, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Consistency Relations for Large Scale Structure
    Marko Simonovic, IAS, Princeton

    Consistency relations for LSS are general, non-perturbative statements about correlation functions of density perturbations. They relate the squeezed limit of an (n+1)-point function with the corresponding n-point function. I this talk I will review the derivation of the consistency relations in the non-relativistic limit and full GR, and show how these results can be applied in constraining the Equivalence Principle on cosmological scales and the BAO reconstruction.
  • March 6, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Indirect Detection of Dark Matter with Gamma Rays
    Simona Murgia, UC Irvine
  • April 24, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Gamma-rays from type Ia supernova SN2014J
    Eugene Churazov, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
  • May 8, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    TBA
    Cora Dvorkin, Harvard University
  • May 15, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    TBD
    Alyson Brooks, Rutgers University
  • May 22, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Probing the environments of supermassive black-hole binaries with pulsar timing arrays
    Sean McWilliams, West Virginia University

    While pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) like NANOGrav have not yet detected gravitational waves, they are still giving us useful information about supermassive black-hole binaries in our Universe. In particular, the continuing non-detection of gravitational waves at current sensitivity levels already suggests that dynamical effects other than gravitational-wave emission are either much more or else much less efficient than we previously thought. I will present detailed calculations of the influence of these other effects on the gravitational-wave signal that we hope to detect with PTAs. I will also present results using the actual 9-year data set from NANOGrav that show how models that include effects other than gravitational-wave emission are already favored over models that only include gravitational-wave emission. Finally, I will present results using realistic simulated PTA data that show what conclusions we will be able to draw regarding the environments and the dynamics of supermassive black-hole binaries at ~milliparsec separations over the next several years.

 
Special seminars


 
Open group seminars

  • February 19, 2015 | |
    A taste of dark matter: Flavour constraints on light mediators
    Matthew Dolan, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

 
Thursday lunch discussions
KICP's Thunch: KICP Cosmology Lunch (Thunch) Weekly on Thursdays, Noon, LASR conference room.

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 BSLC 001 at 3 PM on Wednesdays. A reception will be held in TAAC 71 following the talk.

  • January 7, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    Probing structure formation beyond LCDM
    Neal Dalal, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    Probing structure formation beyond LCDM
    Cosmological structure formation has long been recognized as a sensitive probe of fundamental physics, especially physics beyond the Standard Model, and recent years have seen tremendous progress in our understanding of structure formation, both from the observational and theoretical sides. In this talk, I will describe some of my group's work on this subject. First, I will discuss a novel method we have developed for numerically simulating nonlinear structure formation in cosmologies where traditional N-body simulations produce large errors. I'll present preliminary results of our simulations for cosmologies with massive neutrinos, and I will describe a new potential signature of neutrino mass in large-scale structure. Finally, I will describe how upcoming ALMA observations of sources from the South Pole Telescope will vastly improve our knowledge of small-scale cosmic structure, thereby constraining the physics of inflation and dark matter.
  • January 14, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    Frontiers in Cosmology and Radio Astronomy: 21cm cosmology as a probe of reionization and beyond
    Adrian Liu, University of California, Berkeley
    Note: Refreshments served at 4 PM, LASR conference room

    Frontiers in Cosmology and Radio Astronomy: 21cm cosmology as a probe of reionization and beyond
    In recent years, 21cm cosmology has emerged as an exciting new way to map our Universe. By using the 21cm hyperfine transition as a tracer of neutral hydrogen, one is sensitive not only to the large scale distribution of matter, but also to the astrophysical conditions of the high-redshift intergalactic medium (IGM). The redshifted 21cm line is therefore particularly well-suited for understanding the as-yet unobserved Epoch of Reionization (EoR), a key part of our cosmic history when the first luminous objects were formed and systematically ionized the IGM. In this talk, I will highlight recent progress in 21cm cosmology, including recent observations from the Precision Array for Probing the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER). These observations disfavor “cold reionization” scenarios, where early luminous sources did little to reheat the IGM. Along the way, I will discuss novel techniques that have been developed for moving beyond technical hurdles (such as foreground contamination) to a first detection of the cosmological 21cm signal. I will conclude by introducing the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA), a recently commenced experiment that promises to make high signal-to-noise measurements of the power spectrum of 21cm emission. This will not only provide new and direct observational constraints on the EoR, but will also benefit other cosmological probes by reducing uncertainties on a key epoch of cosmic history, thus transforming 21cm cosmology from a promising theoretical idea to a practical way to probe our Universe.
  • January 21, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    The Circumgalactic and Interstellar Medium of Star-Forming Galaxies at 2<z<3
    Gwen Rudie, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science
    Note: Refreshments served at 4 PM, LASR conference room

    The Circumgalactic and Interstellar Medium of Star-Forming Galaxies at 2<z<3
    The exchange of baryons between galaxies and their surrounding intergalactic medium (IGM) is a crucial but poorly-constrained aspect of galaxy formation and evolution. I will present results from the Keck Baryonic Structure Survey (KBSS), a unique spectroscopic survey designed to explore both the physical properties of high-redshift galaxies and their connection with the surrounding intergalactic baryons. The KBSS is optimized to trace the cosmic peak of star formation (z~2-3), combining high-resolution spectra of 15 hyperluminous QSOs with densely-sampled galaxy redshift surveys surrounding each QSO sightline. I will characterize the physical properties of the gas within the circumgalactic medium (CGM) through measurements of the spatial distribution, column densities, and kinematics of ~6000 HI absorbers surrounding ~900 foreground star-forming galaxies that lie within 50 kpc to 3 Mpc of a QSO sightline. This analysis provides clear evidence of gas inflow and outflow as well as accretion shocks or hot outflows from these forming galaxies. My ongoing study of metallic absorbers in these fields will provide detailed information about the enrichment patterns and overall abundance of metals as a function of distance and velocity, providing a high-fidelity probe of the nature and sphere of influence of galaxy-scale outflows at high-z. I will also discuss KBSS-MOSFIRE, a rest-frame optical spectroscopic survey of more than 800 galaxies in these same QSO fields. These data provide new insight into the physical properties of HII regions at high redshift which show remarkable differences in their ionization and excitation conditions compared to low-redshift star-forming regions. These results have significant implications for both diagnostics of the chemical abundances of high-z galaxies as well as our understanding of massive stars during the peak of cosmic star formation.
  • January 28, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    Origins and Demographics of Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune Sized Planets
    Leslie Rogers, Caltech
    Note: Refreshments served at 4 PM, LASR conference room

    Origins and Demographics of Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune Sized Planets
    Sub-Neptune, super-Earth-size exoplanets are a new planet class. Though absent from the Solar System, they are found by microlensing, radial velocity, and transit surveys to be common around distant stars. The nature of planets in this regime is not known; terrestrial super-Earths, mini-Neptunes with hydrogen-helium gas layers, and water-worlds with several tens of percent water by mass are all a-priori plausible compositions. Disentangling the contributions from each of these scenarios to the population of observed planets is a critical missing link in our understanding of planet formation, evolution, and interior structure. I will review individual highlights from the diverse complement of sub-Neptune-size planets discovered to date, and present statistical analyses constraining the nature and origins of short-period rocky planets. With the suite of space-based exoplanet transit surveys on the horizon (K2, TESS, CHEOPS and PLATO) and continuing development of ground-based spectrographs (e.g., MAROON-X and G-CLEF), the pace of exoplanet discovery and characterization is poised to continue accelerating. I will conclude by describing pathways forward to identify bulk composition trends in the growing census of known exoplanets and to connect these composition trends back to distinct planet formation pathways.