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

Seminar schedule for Current (Fall 2014) & Future Quarters
October 1, 2014
Wednesday colloquium
Daniel Holz
University of Chicago
Gravitational wave astrophysics with LIGO   [Abstract]
October 3, 2014
Friday noon seminar
Anja von der Linden
DARK + KIPAC
Weighing the Giants: Accurate Weak Lensing Mass Measurements for Cosmological Cluster Surveys   [Abstract]
October 7, 2014
Special seminar
Marcelle Soares-Santos
Fermilab
Understanding cosmic acceleration with DES and beyond   [Abstract]
October 8, 2014
Astronomy colloquium
Jacob Bean
University of Chicago
Exoplanets in HD   [Abstract]
October 10, 2014
Friday noon seminar
Raquel H Ribeiro
Case Western Reserve University
Effective field theories for cosmic acceleration   [Abstract]
October 15, 2014
Wednesday colloquium
Daniel Chung
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Cosmological Imprints of Dark Matter Produced During Inflation   [Abstract | PDF]
October 16, 2014
Special seminar
Tejaswi Venumadhav
Caltech
The 21cm line as a new probe of magnetic fields in the pre-reionization epoch   [Abstract]
October 17, 2014
Friday noon seminar
Claude-Andre Faucher-Giguere
Northwestern University
Bridging the gap between cosmology and star formation: Feedback on galactic and cosmological scales   [Abstract]
October 22, 2014
Wednesday colloquium
Rashid Sunyaev
Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Two milestones in the history of the Universe: last scattering surface and black body photosphere of the Universe   [Abstract]
October 24, 2014
Friday noon seminar
Beth A Reid
UC Berkeley
Exploiting the non-linear regime of galaxy clustering in SDSS-III BOSS   [Abstract]
October 28, 2014
Open Group seminar
Aaron S Chou
Fermilab
Searching for axion radio broadcasts from the galaxy   [Abstract]
October 29, 2014
Astronomy colloquium
Dong Lai
Cornell University
Merging Compact Binaries   [Abstract]
October 31, 2014
Friday noon seminar
Esra Bulbul
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
The Curious Case of the 3.57 keV Emission Line   [Abstract]
November 5, 2014
Astronomy colloquium
Fiona Harrison
California Institute of Technology
TBA
November 7, 2014
Friday noon seminar
Benjamin R. Safdi
MIT
Directional Detection of the Cosmic Neutrino Background
November 11, 2014
Open Group seminar
Daan Meerburg
Johns Hopkins University
TBA   [Abstract]
November 12, 2014
Wednesday colloquium
Peter F Michelson
Department of Physics, Stanford University
What's new with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope
November 14, 2014
Friday noon seminar
Anna Franckowiak
SLAC / KIPAC
The Fermi bubbles
November 19, 2014
Astronomy colloquium
Andrei Beloborodov
Columbia University
TBA
November 21, 2014
Friday noon seminar
Liang Dai
Johns Hopkins University
TBD
December 3, 2014
Astronomy colloquium
Anthony Mezzacappa
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
TBA
December 10, 2014
Wednesday colloquium
Daniel Akerib
SLAC
Do WIMPs Rule? The LUX & LZ Experiments and the Search for Cosmic Dark Matter
December 12, 2014
Friday noon seminar
Brendan Crill
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Results from Planck 2014
June 16, 2016
Open Group seminar
David N Spergel
Princeton University
Toward an Understanding of Foreground Emission in the BICEP2 Region (placeholder)
 
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.

  • October 1, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 115
    Gravitational wave astrophysics with LIGO
    Daniel Holz, University of Chicago
    Note: Cheese & Wine Reception will follow talk in the LASR Conference Room

    Gravitational wave astrophysics with LIGO
    Gravitational waves were first predicted by Einstein almost a century ago, and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) should be finally on the verge of directly detecting these waves. The most likely sources are the inspirals and mergers of stellar mass binary systems, such as pairs of neutron stars and/or black holes. In addition to being extraordinarily loud in gravitational waves, these coalescences may be associated with short gamma-ray bursts, and thus hold out the promise of multi-messenger astronomy: combining gravitational wave and electromagnetic observations to elucidate the physics and astrophysics of the sources. We present estimates for the event rate of binary systems, showing that LIGO can expect the first detections within months of operation. We examine the sky localization of LIGO sources, and explore some of the results that can be expected from gravitational wave astronomy, including shedding light on the process of black hole formation and precision measurements of the Hubble constant. We also discuss the loudest gravitational wave sources, and the potential to use these for internal calibration as well as for science. The era of gravitational-wave astronomy is rapidly approaching; a revolutionary new probe of our Universe awaits.
  • October 15, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    Cosmological Imprints of Dark Matter Produced During Inflation
    Daniel Chung, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    Note: Cheese & Wine Reception will follow talk in the LASR Conference Room

    Cosmological Imprints of Dark Matter Produced During Inflation
    PDF
    Dark matter produced during inflation can naturally leave observable isocurvature imprints in the inhomogeneities of our universe. I survey the progress in theoretically cataloging such imprints, along with their connections with high energy theory and observations.
  • October 22, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 109
    Two milestones in the history of the Universe: last scattering surface and black body photosphere of the Universe
    Rashid Sunyaev, Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics

    Two milestones in the history of the Universe: last scattering surface and black body photosphere of the Universe
    Reception at 4 PM in the LASR conference room.
  • November 12, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    What's new with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope
    Peter F Michelson, Department of Physics, Stanford University
    Note: Reception at 4 PM in the LASR conference room.
  • December 10, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    Do WIMPs Rule? The LUX & LZ Experiments and the Search for Cosmic Dark Matter
    Daniel Akerib, SLAC
    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.

  • October 3, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
    Weighing the Giants: Accurate Weak Lensing Mass Measurements for Cosmological Cluster Surveys
    Anja von der Linden, DARK + KIPAC

    Surveys of galaxy clusters provide a sensitive probe of cosmology by measuring the evolution of the halo mass function. With a number of surveys at optical, millimeter, and X-ray wavelengths on-going or starting in the near futures, cluster count experiments will be one the most important cosmological probes over the next decade. However, none of the typical survey observables (X-ray luminosity, optical richness, SZ flux) directly measures the cluster mass. Already current cluster surveys are systematically limited by uncertainties in the relation between cluster mass and observables. Cluster weak lensing is the most promising observational method to calibrate the mass scaling to the required precision, but requires the control of systematic errors to a few percent each. I will review our "Weighing the Giants" project to measure accurate individual weak lensing masses for the largest sample of clusters to date, and discuss its first cosmological applications for cluster count experiments as well as the baryonic mass fraction test.
  • October 10, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    Effective field theories for cosmic acceleration
    Raquel H Ribeiro, Case Western Reserve University

    Effective field theories for cosmic acceleration
    In this era of precision cosmology we are relying more than ever on our theories to decode observations. Models phrased in an Effective Field Theory (EFT) language are particularly useful, since they rely on the existence of a decoupling limit which makes the low energy physics phenomena largely independent of short distance physics. Why is such description desirable? It means we don't need to know the full behaviour of the theory, but only its low energy limit to make predictions for observables at the scale of the experiment we are interested in. In this talk I will discuss a different reorganisation of EFTs describing single-field models for cosmic acceleration (in the early and late universe) with large derivative interactions. The decoupling limit in these theories relies on a derivative hierarchy, rather than a hierarchy between energy scales. Examples include Dirac--Born--Infeld inflation and galileon models in the context of modified gravity. I will discuss the criterion of predictivity of these theories and identify the scales up to which the predictions of these theories are reliable to decode observational data.
  • October 17, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    Bridging the gap between cosmology and star formation: Feedback on galactic and cosmological scales
    Claude-Andre Faucher-Giguere, Northwestern University

    Bridging the gap between cosmology and star formation: Feedback on galactic and cosmological scales
    Star formation is observed to be very inefficient, both within galaxies and cosmologically. Feedback from massive stars and growing black holes has emerged as the most promising solution to explain these facts and broadly bring galaxy formation models in agreement with observations. However, most galaxy formation models to date have had to rely on significant simplifying assumptions and parameters must typically be tuned to obtain realistic galaxy populations. I will argue that the predictive power of cosmological simulations of galaxy formation can now be greatly improved by directly resolving the main structures in the interstellar medium of galaxies and bridging the historical gap between cosmological models and detailed studies of star formation and feedback on galactic scales. I will present new high-resolution simulations of supernova remnant evolution in an inhomogeneous medium and show how the results can be used to model supernova feedback more accurately in cosmological simulations. I will then introduce the FIRE ("Feedback In Realistic Environments") cosmological simulation project and present early results on the predicted stellar mass function of galaxies, galactic winds, and properties of halo gas around high-redshift galaxies.
  • October 24, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    Exploiting the non-linear regime of galaxy clustering in SDSS-III BOSS
    Beth A Reid, UC Berkeley

    Exploiting the non-linear regime of galaxy clustering in SDSS-III BOSS
    The size of both galaxy redshift surveys and N-body simulations of dark matter clustering have grown tremendously over the past few decades, which provides the opportunity to exploit the quasi- and non-linear regime for cosmological information. I will discuss the observational and theoretical challenges in measuring and modeling the small-scale redshift space clustering of galaxies in SDSS-III BOSS, as well as its great promise -- we infer the growth rate of cosmic structure at z=0.57 to 2.5% precision and robustly predict the impact of "galaxy" physics on clustering in the quasi-linear regime. I will demonstrate quantitatively the importance of precise models for broadband clustering in the quasi-linear regime for future redshift survey constraints on dark energy and neutrino mass.
  • October 31, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    The Curious Case of the 3.57 keV Emission Line
    Esra Bulbul, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    We recently detected an unidentified emission line at 3.57 keV in the Chandra observations of the Perseus cluster and the stacked XMM-Newton observations of 73 galaxy clusters. This line was detected at >3sigma statistical significance in five independent samples of XMM-Newton. The lack of any atomic transitions at this energy in thermal plasma, hints that the line could be a signature of decaying sterile neutrinos. I will discuss the search for this line in the stacked observations of galaxy clusters and provide an update on active searches for this feature in other dark matter rich astrophysical systems.
  • November 7, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    Directional Detection of the Cosmic Neutrino Background
    Benjamin R. Safdi, MIT
  • November 14, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    The Fermi bubbles
    Anna Franckowiak, SLAC / KIPAC
  • November 21, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    TBD
    Liang Dai, Johns Hopkins University
  • December 12, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    Results from Planck 2014
    Brendan Crill, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

 
Special seminars

  • October 7, 2014 | 12:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    Understanding cosmic acceleration with DES and beyond
    Marcelle Soares-Santos, Fermilab

    Understanding cosmic acceleration with DES and beyond
    The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is a large imaging sky survey designed to enable us to understand the physics underlying the accelerated expansion of the recent Universe. This cosmic acceleration can be explained either by invoking a new energy component to the Universe, dark energy, or by introducing a new fundamental theory of gravity. In either case it is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. DES data is used to measure the cosmic expansion rate history and the growth of large-scale structure using complementary techniques such as: type Ia Supernovae, galaxy cluster counts and weak gravitational lensing. In this talk, I present our recent results, describe an initiative to develop a new future technique - cosmic sirens - and discuss the prospects for improving our understanding of cosmic acceleration with DES data. I will also discuss, briefly, the long term evolution of this research program beyond DES, with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). LSST is a future imaging survey that will cover larger area and will achieve higher depth than DES. GMT is a next generation 30-meter class telescope with superb imaging and spectroscopic capabilities.
  • October 16, 2014 | 1:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    The 21cm line as a new probe of magnetic fields in the pre-reionization epoch
    Tejaswi Venumadhav, Caltech

    The 21cm line as a new probe of magnetic fields in the pre-reionization epoch
    Mapping neutral hydrogen using the 21cm line is commonly considered to be the next big observational frontier in cosmology. Its main advantage is that it provides redshift information, and enables access to many more modes than the CMB does. I will highlight another feature of the line which makes it possible to extract even more interesting cosmological information from high resolution 21cm observations, when they are realized in the future. This is the spin-degeneracy of the triplet excited state of the transition, which is spin-polarized by anisotropies in the incident radiation. In this talk, I will focus on fluctuations in the brightness temperature seen by a present-day observer, and show that they encode information about magnetic fields which are coherent on large scales in the early universe. This technique will be naturally sensitive to extremely weak field strengths of order 10^{-19} G, which opens the possibility of probing primordial magnetic fields in neutral gas prior to reionization. I will also briefly touch upon the exciting, if even more speculative possibility of studying tensor modes using the 21cm line.

 
Open group seminars

  • October 28, 2014 | |
    Searching for axion radio broadcasts from the galaxy
    Aaron S Chou, Fermilab

    Originally proposed to solve the mystery of the vanishing neutron electric dipole moment, axions have emerged as one of the leading candidates to explain the dark matter of the universe. In this seminar, I will explain the principles of the resonant microwave cavity technique used by the ADMX experiment to directly detect the local flux of dark matter axions, and the challenges that will be faced as the search for the dark matter broadcast frequency progresses from the 1 GHz band up to 10 GHz and beyond. I will also briefly cover ideas to utilize instrumentation from the CMB/FIR communities to enable future probes: superconducting bolometers for higher frequencies 10-300 GHz, and frequency multiplexed readouts for lower frequencies <1 GHz.
  • November 11, 2014 | 1:00 PM | LASR Conference Room
    TBA
    Daan Meerburg, Johns Hopkins University

    TBA
  • June 16, 2016 | |
    Toward an Understanding of Foreground Emission in the BICEP2 Region (placeholder)
    David N Spergel, Princeton University

 
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.

  • October 8, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    Exoplanets in HD
    Jacob Bean, University of Chicago
    Note: Refreshments served at 4 PM, TAAC 71

    Exoplanets in HD
    Exoplanet surveys have revealed an amazing diversity of planets orbiting other stars in the last two decades. Studying the atmospheres of representative exoplanets is the key next step in leveraging these detections to further transform our understanding of planet formation and planetary physics. Additionally, atmospheric studies are critical for determining if any of the small habitable zone exoplanets that are now being detected are truly habitable, and even inhabited. In this talk I will describe a vision for how we can pursue the compelling opportunities in exoplanet atmospheres today and in the future. One crucial need in this area is spectroscopy to reveal planets in high definition. I will present new results from intensive observational campaigns with the Hubble Space Telescope that serve as a model for the proposed program, including a definitive constraint on the atmosphere of the super-Earth archetype GJ1214b, a precise measurement of the water abundance in a giant planet, and the inference of the thermal structure of an exoplanet atmosphere as a function of longitude. A fundamental component of the envisioned approach for the future is the need for a strategic program combining observations with multiple ground- and space-based telescopes using a suite of techniques to investigate the question of habitability. I will conclude by discussing how future facilities like the Giant Magellan Telescope are poised to play a crucial role in the identification of the first Earth twin as part of this plan.
  • October 29, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    Merging Compact Binaries
    Dong Lai, Cornell University
    Note: Refreshments served at 4PM, TAAC 71

    The merger of binary systems containing neutron stars, black holes or white dwarfs can lead to various extreme phenomena that are observable throughout the universe. I will discuss recent works on merging neutron star/black hole binaries and white dwarf binaries, focusing on dynamical processes in the pre-merger phase, gravitational waves, tidal and electromagnetic interactions, and potential constraint on dense nuclear matter.
  • November 5, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    TBA
    Fiona Harrison, California Institute of Technology
  • November 19, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    TBA
    Andrei Beloborodov, Columbia University
  • December 3, 2014 | 3:00 PM | BSLC 001
    TBA
    Anthony Mezzacappa, Oak Ridge National Laboratory