Faculty Research Seminars
Faculty Research Seminars - This talk series is aimed at first-year students. These talks are designed to give an overview of research in the department.
Mondays, at 12 PM, in TBD. Bring your lunch!

Exploring dwarf satellite galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey
January 11, 2016 | ERC 576 | 12:00 PM
Richard G. Kron

Rich Kron and Alex Drlica-Wagner (KICP and Fermilab) will team up to review the Dark Energy Survey in terms of Galactic science, specifically the search for and characterization of satellite galaxies of the Milky Way with exceptionally low luminosity. These objects are dark-matter dominated and their statistical properties constrain the history of baryons flowing into dark matter subhaloes. A number of research projects using DES data will be described for which we can use help. We will also give a primer on how to access images and catalogs from the DES.

Simplicity overturned: the Unidentified Interstellar Bands
February 1, 2016 | ERC 576 | 12:00 PM
Donald G. York

The diffuse interstellar bands are a set of nearly 600 unidentified features that appear in spectra of both reddened and unreddened stars. The first were discovered in the early 20th century and remain a mystery as to origins after 100 years. I will discuss recent advances resulting from a renaissance of interest in this topic. I will then point out the likely upset to many of our ideas about the interstellar medium that has been highlighted by the discovery that a few DIB like features correspond with C60+ (ionized buckeyballs) in the diffuse interstellar medium.

Designing tomorrow's submm-wavelength instruments and telescopes
February 8, 2016 | ERC 576 | 12:00 PM

Core-Sampling the Universe
February 15, 2016 | ERC 517 | 12:00 PM

Understanding Galaxy Formation
February 22, 2016 | ERC 517 | 12:00 PM

Diversity and Demographics of Distant Rocky Worlds
February 29, 2016 | ERC 576 | 12:00 PM
Leslie Rogers

The discovery of exoplanets (planets outside our Solar System) has brought the settings of many science fiction stories within reach of scientific inquiry. Astronomers’ ever increasing sensitivity to smaller and smaller planets has opened the opportunity for empirical insights into the nature and demographics of distant terrestrial worlds. Up to what size and mass do planets typically have rocky compositions? How Earth-like are these distant rocky worlds? How common are rocky planets in the Habitable Zones of their host stars? In this talk, I will present the current constraints on each of these questions, appealing both to individual planet case studies and to planet population statistics.