KICP News, 2018



 
KICP plays a major role in 2 of Science magazine's 2017 Breakthroughs of the Year!
January 4, 2018
KICP plays a major role in 2 of Science magazine's 2017 Breakthroughs of the Year!
The KICP's Daniel Holz and his research group and the Dark Energy Survey, led by the KICP's Josh Frieman played key roles in the discovery of a pair of coalescing neutron stars, the 2017 Science Magazine Breakthrough of the Year. Third on the list was the COHERENT collaboration's discovery of Coherent Elastic Neutriono-Nucleus Scattering. COHERENT is led by the KICP's Juan Collar. The COHERENT discovery was also came in second place in the people's choice voting fo the year.

Read the full story.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Juan I. Collar; Joshua A. Frieman; Daniel E. Holz
Scientific projects: Coherent Germanium Neutrino Technology (CoGeNT); Dark Energy Survey (DES); Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)
 
The KICP will welcome 3 new Fellows in the Autumn of 2018
January 12, 2018
The KICP will welcome 3 new Fellows in the Autumn of 2018
Anne Gambrel will receive her PhD from Princeton University. For her graduate degree, she helped build, launch, and analyze the data from the SPIDER balloon-borne CMB polarimeter, designed to measure large scale B-mode polarization produced by gravitational waves in the early Universe. At KICP, she plans to continue working with SPIDER data and to join the analysis efforts for SPT-3G.

Yonatan (Yoni) Kahn received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2015, and spent the past 3 years as a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University working on new proposals for dark matter detection experiments. As a theoretical physicist with strong connections to the experimental community, Yoni was a driving force behind the ABRACADABRA axion experiment recently launched at MIT, and he hopes to tap into the network of expertise in cosmology at KICP and the wider University of Chicago community to devise new searches for dark matter.

Dan Baxter will receive his PhD from Northwestern University, where he has spent his graduate career working with the PICO collaboration to search for dark matter using bubble chambers. The primary result of his thesis is the first run with C3F8 of the PICO-60 detector, which represented the first background-free run of a bubble chamber dark matter detector at the 40L scale. As a joint KICP and EFI Fellow, he is excited to continue the search for dark matter with the DAMIC collaboration and looks forward to contributing to the numerous rare event searches in the department.

Related Links:
Scientific projects: COUPP/PICO; Dark Matter in CCDs (DAMIC); South Pole Telescope (SPT)
 
2018 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research Awarded to Eugene Parker
February 2, 2018
Professor Emeritus Eugene Parker
Professor Emeritus Eugene Parker
Professor Emeritus Eugene Parker was awarded the American Physical Society's Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research, one of the field's highest honors, on February 1. The awards citation states "In recognition of many fundamental contributions to space physics, plasma physics, solar physics and astrophysics for over 60 years." Roger Falcone, the chair of the Medal selection committee said that "Gene Parker has a wonderful and exceptional record of seminal contributions to solar, space and astrophysics over the many years of his distinguished career."

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KICP Director Michael Turner to present the 2018 Oppenheimer Lecture at the University of California at Berkeley
February 2, 2018
KICP Director Michael Turner to present the 2018 Oppenheimer Lecture at the University of California at Berkeley
2018 Oppenheimer Lecture with Michael S. Turner
Monday, February 26, 2018 - 5:30pm

Big ideas like the deep connections between quarks and the cosmos and powerful instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope and Large Hadron Collider have advanced our understanding of the universe. We can now trace its history from the big-bang beginning 13.8 billion years ago through an early state of quantum fluctuations to a soup of quarks and other particles, from the formation of nuclei and atoms to the emergence of stars and galaxies, and finally to its expansion today. This lecture will describe what we know, what we are trying to figure out and the excitement of the adventure.

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Related Links:
KICP Members: Michael S. Turner
 
Congratulations to Dr. Zubair Abdulla!
February 8, 2018
Dr. Zubair Abdulla
Dr. Zubair Abdulla
Congratulations to Dr. Zubair Abdulla for successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation on "Sunyaev Zel'dovich Effect Observations of X-ray Cavities in Galaxy Clusters".

"Zubair has done it all, from building 10 ultra-sensitive receivers, commissioning them on CARMA, developing the data reduction pipeline, to imaging and analyzing the first Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect imaging of x-ray cavities in galaxy clusters. His thesis places tight constraints on the nature of plasma within the cavities and mechanisms for heating of the inter cluster medium."
- John Carlstrom, Ph.D. advisor

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom
KICP Students: Zubair Abdulla
 
Congratulations to Abigail Vieregg and Eduardo Rozo!
February 14, 2018
Congratulations to Abigail Vieregg and Eduardo Rozo!
Abigail Vieregg, KICP senior member, and Eduardo Rozo, KICP former fellow, have been awarded the 2018 Cottrell Scholars given to outstanding early career academic scientists. The designation comes with a $100,000 award for each recipient for research and teaching.

"The Cottrell Scholar (CS) program champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy by providing these significant discretionary awards," said RCSA President and CEO Daniel Linzer.

Cottrell Scholars engage in an annual networking event, providing them an opportunity to share insights and expertise through the Cottrell Scholar Collaborative. This year’s Cottrell Scholar Conference will be held July 11-13 in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to draw about 100 top educators from around the U.S.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Eduardo Rozo; Abigail G. Vieregg
 
Joshua Frieman will become the Head of Particle Physics Division at Fermilab
February 19, 2018
Joshua A. Frieman, KICP Deputy Director
Joshua A. Frieman, KICP Deputy Director
Joshua A. Frieman, KICP Deputy Director and Professor part-time in Astronomy & Astrophysics, will become the Head of Particle Physics Division (PPD) at Fermilab on April 1, 2018. "Josh's scientific stature and deep understanding of the interconnected nature of particle physics will make him a strong advocate for the broad program of exciting research tied to the lab," said Joe Lykken, Fermilab's Deputy Director. As Head of PPD, Frieman will oversee the Lab's involvement in the CMS experiment at CERN's LHC, all its astrophysics activities, the muon program and the Lab's theory groups, and new technology development, engineering and technical support for particle physics research. UChicago partners in many of Fermilab's astrophysics programs, including the Dark Energy Survey, which is led by Frieman, several dark-matter experiments, and the SPT-3G and CMB-S4 cosmic microwave background experiments. "All of us wish Josh well in this important leadership position at Fermilab, and we look forward to working with him to further strengthen ties between UChicago and Fermilab," said Michael Turner, KICP Director. Frieman, whose UChicago appointment dates back to 1989, added, "while my primary focus will be shaping and ensuring Fermilab's bright future, I will also maintain my UChicago connections, albeit a reduced level for the next few years."

Related Links:
KICP Members: Joshua A. Frieman; Michael S. Turner
Scientific projects: Dark Energy Survey (DES); South Pole Telescope (SPT)