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

Seminar schedule for Current (Spring 2015) & Future Quarters
April 1, 2015
Astronomy colloquium
Kendrick Smith
Perimeter Institute
Primordial non-Gaussianity in the CMB and Large-Scale Structure   [Abstract]
April 3, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Laura Newburgh
Dunlap Institute, University of Toronto
Measuring Dark Energy with CHIME   [Abstract]
April 8, 2015
Wednesday colloquium
John M Kovac
Harvard University
CMB Polarization and the BICEP / Keck Program
April 10, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Alexander van Engelen
Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
Gravitational Lensing with ACTPol   [Abstract]
April 15, 2015
Astronomy colloquium
Daniel Green
University of Toronto
Probing the Nature of Inflation   [Abstract]
April 17, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Silvia Galli
The University of Chicago
Cosmological results from Planck 2015   [Abstract]
April 22, 2015
Wednesday colloquium
Maura McLaughlin
West Virginia University
A Galactic Scale Gravitational Wave Observatory   [Abstract]
April 24, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Eugene Churazov
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Gamma-rays from type Ia supernova SN2014J   [Abstract]
April 29, 2015
Astronomy colloquium
Andrew MacFadyen
New York University
TBA
May 1, 2015
Friday noon seminar
Rachel A Rosen
Columbia University
TBD
May 6, 2015
Wednesday colloquium
Keith Bechtol
WIPAC / University of Wisconsin-Madison
Searching for Milky Way Satellite Galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey
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]
May 27, 2015
Open Group seminar
Carlos S Frenk
Durham University
TBA   [Abstract]
May 27, 2015
Astronomy colloquium
Edo Berger
Harvard University
TBA
June 10, 2015
Astronomy colloquium
Josh Winn
MIT
TBA
 
Wednesday colloquia
KICP Wednesday Colloquia: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in BSLC 115 at 3 PM on Wednesdays. A reception will be held in the LASR conference room following the talk.

  • April 8, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 115
    CMB Polarization and the BICEP / Keck Program
    John M Kovac, Harvard University
    Note: Reception at 4 PM in the LASR conference room.
  • April 22, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 115
    A Galactic Scale Gravitational Wave Observatory
    Maura McLaughlin, West Virginia University
    Note: Reception at 4 PM in the LASR conference room.

    Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars with phenomenal rotational stability that can be used as celestial clocks in a variety of fundamental physics experiments. One of these experiments involves using an array of precisely timed millisecond pulsars to detect perturbations due to gravitational waves. The gravitational waves detectable through pulsar timing will most likely result from an ensemble of supermassive black hole binaries. I will describe the efforts of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), a collaboration which monitors an array of over 40 millisecond pulsars with the Green Bank Telescope and Arecibo Observatory. The most recent limits on various types of gravitational wave sources will be presented, and I will show how these limits are already constraining models for galaxy formation and evolution and the tension of cosmic strings. I will then describe the dramatic gains in sensitivity that are expected from discoveries of millisecond pulsars, more sensitive instrumentation, improved detection algorithms, and international collaboration and show that detection is possible before the end of the decade.
  • May 6, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 115
    Searching for Milky Way Satellite Galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey
    Keith Bechtol, WIPAC / University of Wisconsin-Madison
    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.

  • April 3, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Measuring Dark Energy with CHIME
    Laura Newburgh, Dunlap Institute, University of Toronto

    Measuring Dark Energy with CHIME
    The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) is a new radio transit interferometer currently being built at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) in Penticton, BC, Canada. We will use the 21cm emission line of neutral hydrogen to map baryon acoustic oscillations between 400-800MHz across 3/4 of the sky. These measurements will yield sensitive constraints on the dark energy equation of state between redshifts 0.8 -- 2.5, a fascinating but poorly probed era corresponding to when dark energy began to impact the expansion history of the Universe. I will describe the CHIME instrument, the analysis challenges, the calibration requirements, and current status.
  • April 10, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Gravitational Lensing with ACTPol
    Alexander van Engelen, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics

    The gravitational lensing of the CMB has emerged as an important cosmological probe. The lensing signal is sensitive to matter fluctuations on larger scales and at higher redshifts than are accessible through other means. It can also be used in cross-correlation with other surveys to highlight properties of tracer populations. I will show the first results of the measurement of the lensing of the CMB polarization from the ACTPol survey, based on cross-correlation with maps of the cosmic infrared background from the Planck satellite. I will also discuss the constraints on cosmology that will be possible using data from future surveys.
  • April 17, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    Cosmological results from Planck 2015
    Silvia Galli, The University of Chicago

    Planck is an ESA satellite aimed at the observation of the Cosmic Microwave Background. In 2013, the Planck collaboration has released the first results on cosmology based on temperature only data from ~15 months of observations. This year, we released the second round of cosmological results based on full mission data (~30+ months) both in temperature and, for the first time, in polarization. In this talk, I will review a few of the main cosmological results of this year release, showing the main changes with respect to the 2013 release. I will highlight the power of polarization data and show a few cases where polarization allows us to set spectacular constraints on possible extentions of the LCDM model.
  • April 24, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Gamma-rays from type Ia supernova SN2014J
    Eugene Churazov, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics

    SN2014J is the closest type Ia supernova in the era of space observatories and the first one from which gamma-ray lines have been detected with high significance. The flux of Co-56 lines at 847 and 1238 keV, observed with INTEGRAL, shows that about 0.6 Msun of radioactive Ni-56 has been synthesized during explosion. The line broadening suggests the characteristic expansion velocity of ~10000 km/s. Annihilation of positrons produced during decay of Co-56 makes significant contribution to the continuum below 511 keV. The total mass of the ejecta is consistent with 1.4 Msun progenitor, although the constraints are not very tight. Overall the gamma-ray data are broadly consistent with the expectations for canonical 1D models, such as delayed detonation or deflagration models for a near-Chandrasekhar mass White Dwarf. Pure detonation models or strongly sub-Chandrasekhar models are excluded by the gamma-ray data.
  • May 1, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    TBD
    Rachel A Rosen, Columbia University
  • 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

  • May 27, 2015 | 12:00 PM | TBA
    TBA
    Carlos S Frenk, Durham University

    TBA

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

  • April 1, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 115
    Primordial non-Gaussianity in the CMB and Large-Scale Structure
    Kendrick Smith, Perimeter Institute

    I'll give a pedagogical review of inflation and explain how its physics can be constrained by searching for "primordial non-Gaussianity", i.e. differences between the statistics of the initial curvature field in our universe and the statistics of an ideal Gaussian field. Then I'll talk about observational CMB constraints, including some new results from Planck. Finally I'll discuss future prospects for improving Planck constraints with large-scale surveys such as Euclid and LSST.
  • April 15, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 115
    Probing the Nature of Inflation
    Daniel Green, University of Toronto

    The idea that the early universe included an era of accelerated expansion (Inflation) was proposed to explain very qualitative features of the first cosmological observations. Since then, our observations have improved dramatically and have lead to high precision agreement with the predictions of the first models of inflation, slow-roll inflation. At the same time, there has been significant growth in the number of mechanisms for inflation, many of which are qualitatively distinct from slow-roll. Nevertheless, most of these ideas are also consistent with current data. In this talk, I will first review inflation and its current observational status. I will then discuss the important theoretical targets for the future and the prospects for achieving them.
  • April 29, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 115
    TBA
    Andrew MacFadyen, New York University
    Note: Reception: LASR at 4PM
  • May 27, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 115
    TBA
    Edo Berger, Harvard University
    Note: Reception: LASR at 4PM
  • June 10, 2015 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 115
    TBA
    Josh Winn, MIT
    Note: Reception: LASR at 4PM