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

Seminar schedule for Current (Fall 2019) & Future Quarters
September 30, 2019
Astronomy Special Seminar
Ore Gottlieb
University of Tel Aviv
Relativistic outflows in Neutron star mergers   [Abstract]
October 1, 2019
Open Group seminar
Alex Krolewski
Berkeley
CMB Lensing Tomography at 0<z<2 with Galaxies from the unWISE Catalog   [Abstract]
October 2, 2019
Wednesday colloquium
Hugh Lippincott
FNAL
Doping - not just for cyclists   [Abstract]
October 4, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Susmita Adhikari
Stanford University
The Outer Profiles of Dark Matter Halos as a Probe of Cosmology, Dark Matter and Galaxy Evolution   [Abstract]
October 9, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
Daniel Stark
University of Arizona
Galaxies in the Reionization Era   [Abstract]
October 10, 2019
Open Group seminar
Humna Awan
Rutgers University
Probing LSS with Large Galaxy Surveys: Systematics and Estimators   [Abstract]
October 11, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Ben J P Jones
University of Texas at Arlington
Better Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay through Biochemistry   [Abstract]
October 15, 2019
Open Group seminar
Austin Joyce
Columbia University
The view from the boundary: Bootstrapping inflationary correlators   [Abstract]
October 16, 2019
Wednesday colloquium
Brian D Nord
Fermilab and UChicago
AI In the Sky: Implications and Challenges for the use of Artificial Intelligence in Astrophysics and in Society   [Abstract]
October 17, 2019
Open Group seminar
Constance Mahony
University College London
Target Neutrino Mass Precision for Determining the Neutrino Hierarchy   [Abstract]
October 18, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Carl Rodriguez
Harvard
How Do You Form a Binary Black Hole?   [Abstract]
October 23, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
John Grunsfeld
NASA
Hubble, Chicago, and the Search for Life in the Universe   [Abstract]
October 25, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Sarah Wellons
Northwestern University
Simulating Galaxy Formation in the Early Universe
October 30, 2019
Wednesday colloquium
Yonatan Kahn
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Axions from the Lab to the Cosmos   [Abstract]
November 1, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Yu Hai-Bo
University of California, Riverside
TBA
November 6, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
TBA
TBA
November 8, 2019
Friday noon seminar
Emmanuel S Schaan
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
TBA   [Abstract]
November 20, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
TBA
TBA
December 4, 2019
Wednesday colloquium
Laura Newburgh
Yale University
New Probes of Old Structure: Cosmology with 21cm Intensity Mapping and the Cosmic Microwave Background   [Abstract]
December 4, 2019
Astronomy Colloquium
TBA
TBA
 
COLLOQUIA
KICP Colloquia and Astronomy & Astrophysics Colloquia: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in ERC 161 at 15:30 on Wednesdays. A reception will be held following the talk in the ERC 401 (KICP Colloquia) and in Hubble Lounge (ERC 501) (Astronomy & Astrophysics Colloquia).

  • October 2, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Wednesday colloquium
    Doping - not just for cyclists
    Hugh Lippincott, FNAL

    After a series of null results from the LHC and large direct detection experiments, dark matter remains frustratingly mysterious, and much of the canonical heavy WIMP parameter space is now ruled out. In this talk, I will give an update on the status of the LZ experiment, and discuss an idea to expand the parameter space that can be probed by large liquid xenon TPCs like LZ by adding hydrogen to the target, opening up sensitivity to WIMP masses well below 1 GeV.
  • October 9, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    Galaxies in the Reionization Era
    Daniel Stark, University of Arizona

    Over the past decade, deep infrared images have pushed the cosmic frontier back to just 500 million years after the Big Bang, delivering the first large sample of galaxies at redshifts 77 galaxies from ALMA, Magellan, and Keck has begun to sharpen our understanding of this reionization process while also providing a glimpse of the physical nature of early galaxies. The spectral features we are detecting at z>7 are unlike what has been seen at lower redshifts, hinting at a population of low mass galaxies undergoing frequent bursts of star formation. Surveys at lower redshift have begun to reveal insight into the ionizing efficiency of this population of low mass galaxies, providing quantitative constraints on the production and escape of ionizing radiation. In this talk, I will review the latest in observational efforts to understand galaxies in the reionization-era and discuss remaining challenges that must be addressed in advance of JWST.
  • October 16, 2019 | 3:00 PM | ERC 161 | Wednesday colloquium
    AI In the Sky: Implications and Challenges for the use of Artificial Intelligence in Astrophysics and in Society
    Brian D Nord, Fermilab and UChicago

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to a set of techniques --- like machine learning, deep learning, and data science --- that rely on the data itself to develop models of observed phenomena. AI algorithms have a long history of development, and there has been a recent resurgence in their research and deployment, marked by extraordinary results in many contexts, including scientific ones. However, these algorithms are far from a panacea for our challenging data-modeling tasks.

    Three major changes have revolutionized the role of data in our lives: 1) the increased availability of large data sets; 2) advancements in computing hardware; and 3) insights for new mathematical and algorithmic techniques. Because of these elements, AI now permeates society --- from the promise of self-driving vehicles to entertainment choices to cancer-detection and criminal justice. Moreover, in the last few years, it has had substantial impacts on molecular chemistry, particle physics, and more recently astronomy. AI is more than likely here to stay, as well as grow as an important technique in our science toolboxes.


    Nevertheless, AI has significant challenges for reaching its full potential for scientific impact --- namely, uncertainty quantification, interpretability, bias, and hybridization with physical models. These challenges also plague implementations in other contexts throughout society. Given these challenges, how do we implement these algorithms in a responsible, careful, and systematic way?

    We'll discuss these topics in the context of deep learning and its application to modern astronomical surveys. Finally, we'll discuss the implications for the widespread use of AI in society.
  • October 23, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    Hubble, Chicago, and the Search for Life in the Universe
    John Grunsfeld, NASA

    Note: Refreshments served at 4:30 PM, Hubble Lounge

    The Hubble Space Telescope story has been a fascinating study in public policy, engineering, ethics, and science. The Hubble is perhaps the most productive scientific instrument ever created by humans. In May 2009, a team of astronauts flew to the Hubble Space Telescope on space shuttle Atlantis. On their 13-day mission and over the course of 5 spacewalks they completed an extreme makeover of the orbiting observatory. They installed the Wide Field Camera-3, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, repaired the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, as well as a number of maintenance activities. These Hubble spacewalks are considered the most challenging and daring efforts ever of people working in space. This mission also carried a bit of the University of Chicago with it on board. Now, still going strong on orbit, the Hubble has a full complement of instruments capable of performing state-of-the-art observations from the near infra-red to the ultraviolet end of the spectrum. In this talk we will present a narrative of the adventure, and a look at what some of the scientific results may offer in the search for life beyond Earth in our Solar System.
  • October 30, 2019 | 3:00 PM | ERC 161 | Wednesday colloquium
    Axions from the Lab to the Cosmos
    Yonatan Kahn, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Note: Reception at 4:30 PM in the ERC 401.

    As the gravitational evidence for the existence of dark matter accumulates inexorably, the particle identity of dark matter remains mysterious. One of the best theoretically-motivated dark matter candidates, with some of the most interesting experimental signals, is the axion. Axions are expected to interact very weakly with electromagnetism, which leads to the possibility of detecting axions through conversion to photons in strong magnetic fields. I will review the status of several new experiments and searches aiming to detect axion dark matter on Earth, in astrophysical systems, and produced in the laboratory.
  • November 6, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    TBA
    TBA,

    Note: Refreshments served at 4:30 PM, Hubble Lounge
  • November 20, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    TBA
    TBA,

    Note: Refreshments served at 4:30 PM, Hubble Lounge
  • December 4, 2019 | 3:00 PM | ERC 161 | Wednesday colloquium
    New Probes of Old Structure: Cosmology with 21cm Intensity Mapping and the Cosmic Microwave Background
    Laura Newburgh, Yale University

    Note: Reception at 4:30 PM in the ERC 401.

    Current cosmological measurements have left us with deep questions about our Universe: What caused the expansion of the Universe at the earliest times? How did structure form? What is Dark Energy and does it evolve with time? New experiments like CHIME, HIRAX, and ACTPol are poised to address these questions through 3-dimensional maps of structure and measurements of the polarized Cosmic Microwave Background. In this talk, I will describe how we will use 21cm intensity measurements from CHIME and HIRAX to place sensitive constraints on Dark Energy between redshifts 0.8 -- 2.5, a poorly probed era corresponding to when Dark Energy began to impact the expansion history of the Universe. I will also discuss how we will use data from new CMB instruments to constrain cosmological parameters like the total neutrino mass and probe structure at late times.
  • December 4, 2019 | 3:30 PM | ERC 161 | Astronomy Colloquium
    TBA
    TBA,

    Note: Refreshments served at 4:30 PM, Hubble Lounge

 
FRIDAY NOON SEMINARS
KICP Friday noon seminar: Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held in ERC 401 at 12:00 on Fridays.

  • October 4, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    The Outer Profiles of Dark Matter Halos as a Probe of Cosmology, Dark Matter and Galaxy Evolution
    Susmita Adhikari, Stanford University

    The distribution of matter in a dark matter halo contains information about the history of its growth. In this talk I will discuss the recent theoretical developments on how the overall matter distribution and the splashback radius in the outskirts of a cluster can be used to test the nature of gravity and dark matter models. I will also talk about the recent observational developments in measuring the distribution of galaxies and matter around the splashback radius in massive galaxy clusters in DES, SPT and ACT and what we learn about the evolution of galaxies from it.
  • October 11, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    Better Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay through Biochemistry
    Ben J P Jones, University of Texas at Arlington

    The goal of future neutrinoless double beta decay experiments is to establish whether neutrino is its own antiparticle, by searching for an ultra-rare decay process with a half life that may be more than 10^27 years. Such a discovery would have major implications for cosmology and particle physics, but requires ton-scale detectors with backgrounds below 1 count per ton per year. This is a formidable technological challenge that has prompted consideration of unconventional solutions. I will discuss an approach being developed within the NEXT collaboration: high pressure xenon gas time projection chambers augmented single molecule fluorescent imaging-based barium tagging. This combines techniques from the fields of biochemistry, super-resolution microscopy, organic synthesis and nuclear physics, possibly enabling the first effectively background-free, ton-scale neutrinoless double beta decay technology.
  • October 18, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    How Do You Form a Binary Black Hole?
    Carl Rodriguez, Harvard

    When an isolated binary black hole merges in the field of a galaxy, its gravitational-wave story is complete. But when black holes merge in a dense star cluster, their merger products can remain in the cluster, where they continue to participate in dynamical encounters, form binaries, and
    potentially merge again. In this talk I will describe the production of
    repeated mergers in globular clusters, and how the rate of mergers depends on the initial properties (e.g. spin) of black holes formed from stars. I will show how these "second-generation" black holes differ from black holes formed from stellar collapse, and how Advanced LIGO and Virgo can already distinguish these unique astrophysical populations.
  • October 25, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    Simulating Galaxy Formation in the Early Universe
    Sarah Wellons, Northwestern University
  • November 1, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    TBA
    Yu Hai-Bo, University of California, Riverside
  • November 8, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401 | Friday noon seminar
    TBA
    Emmanuel S Schaan, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    TBA

 
SPECIAL SEMINARS


 
OPEN GROUP SEMINARS

  • October 1, 2019 | 11:00 AM | ERC 401 | Open Group seminar
    CMB Lensing Tomography at 0<z<2 with Galaxies from the unWISE Catalog
    Alex Krolewski, Berkeley

    CMB lensing tomography has the potential to map the amplitude and growth of structure over cosmic time, provide some of the most stringent tests of gravity, and break important degeneracies between cosmological parameters. I use the unWISE photometric galaxy catalog to create three samples at median redshifts z~0.6, 1.1, and 1.5, and cross-correlate them with the most recent Planck CMB lensing maps. The resulting significance of 58.7 at 300 < ell < 1000 is the highest significance detection to date of CMB lensing cross-correlation. The redshift distribution of the two-band unWISE galaxies is a major source of systematic error. I primarily use cross-correlations with BOSS galaxies and quasars and eBOSS quasars to measure the redshift distribution, supplemented with cross-matching to deep COSMOS photometric redshifts. I demonstrate how to propagate the uncertainty in the redshift distribution to the modeling of the signal, and perform a number of null tests. Finally, I discuss the cosmological implications of this measurement and lessons learned for CMB lensing cross-correlations with future photometric surveys such as LSST.
  • October 10, 2019 | 1:30 PM | ERC 445 | Open Group seminar
    Probing LSS with Large Galaxy Surveys: Systematics and Estimators
    Humna Awan, Rutgers University

    Studying cosmology with large galaxy surveys requires an unprecedented understandingand mitigation of systematics -- a challenge that can be addressed on two fronts: quantification of the impacts of systematics, and new tools to mitigate them. Addressing the first, I will discuss work on the artifacts induced by the observing strategy for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and present large dithers as an effective mechanism to mitigate the induced artifacts (Awan et al. 2016, ApJ, 829, 50) -- a result that has now been adopted for the LSST observing strategy. I will also quantify the impacts of Milky Way dust on Large-Scale Structure (LSS) studies and the resulting cosmological parameter estimation. As for new tools, I will present a galaxy angular correlation function estimator that corrects for sample contamination arising from photometric-redshift estimation (Awan & Gawiser, 2019, submitted to ApJ); our framework allows for optimization of the estimator to improve the precision of cosmological parameter estimation. While these techniques are motivated by preparations for LSST, they are applicable to DES, DESI, HETDEX, Euclid, and WFIRST.
  • October 15, 2019 | 1:00 PM | ERC 419 | Open Group seminar
    The view from the boundary: Bootstrapping inflationary correlators
    Austin Joyce, Columbia University

    I will describe the construction of slow-roll inflationary correlation functions directly from symmetry principles. From this perspective, the imprints of massive particles present during inflation can be parameterized in a systematic way, utilizing tools from conformal field theory. These techniques can also be applied to spinning particles (like the graviton) and help shed light on the analytic structure of cosmological correlators.
  • October 17, 2019 | 1:30 PM | ERC 445 | Open Group seminar
    Target Neutrino Mass Precision for Determining the Neutrino Hierarchy
    Constance Mahony, University College London

    The ordering of the neutrino mass eigenstates, the neutrino hierarchy, is a key question in neutrino physics. Recently, many works have performed a joint analysis of neutrino oscillation and cosmological data to determine the neutrino hierarchy. They have found a range of odds in favour of the normal hierarchy; however these results have been driven by differing approaches to incorporating prior knowledge about neutrinos. In this talk I will present a hierarchy-agnostic prior, which guarantees that the final odds are driven by the data, and show that the hierarchy cannot currently be determined. The determination of the hierarchy is limited by the neutrino mass scale $Sigma_{
    u}$ measurement. I will therefore present a target precision $sigma(Sigma_{
    u})$ for conclusively establishing the normal hierarchy with future data.

 
THURSDAY LUNCH DISCUSSIONS
KICP's Thunch: KICP Cosmology Lunch (Thunch) Weekly on Thursdays, 12:00, 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 TUESDAY SEMINARS


 
ASTRONOMY SPECIAL SEMINARS

  • September 30, 2019 | 3:00 PM | ERC 576 | Special Seminar
    Relativistic outflows in Neutron star mergers
    Ore Gottlieb, University of Tel Aviv

    Relativistic outflows in Neutron star mergers Following a double Neutron star merger a relativistic jet propagates and interacts with the outflowing ejecta that surrounds the merger. As a result, matter is pushed around the jet to form a hot cocoon which applies pressure on the jet and potentially collimates it. After the jet breaks out from the merger ejecta, the cocoon expands and emits radiation over large angles throughout the entire electromagnetic spectrum. I will first discuss the evolution of the jet-cocoon system inside the ejecta and its effect on the morphology and emission from the outflow. Then I will present the different emission mechanisms of the jet+cocoon system, from the first seconds to years later, and how they compare with the set of observables in GW170817. I will conclude with what we expect from future events and what the jet-cocoon emission can tell us about Neutron star mergers and beyond.