Talks & Events
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 TAAC 41. Bring your lunch!
Current & Future Faculty Research Seminars
Past Faculty Research Seminars
Hunting for Dark Matter
Although dark matter seems very likely to be made up of some new variety (or varieties) of particle, the detection of these particles has been elusive. That being said, we are currently in a very data rich period, allowing us to test an unprecedented fraction of proposed dark matter models. We'll discuss the main techniques being pursued to test the WIMP hypothesis, and assess the current state and future of research in dark matter.
A new perspective on the diffuse interstellar bands
A fifteen year survey of the unidentified diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) has been carried out at Apache point observatory using an echelle spectrograph with a resolving power of ~35,000. The wavelengths explored include the region 3700A to 8500A, so we have a large amount of complementary data on optical interstellar (identified lines) and diatomic molecules. We have a) confirmed that the strongest DIBs do not relate to molecular hydrogen and seem to exist mainly at the surface of diffuse clouds, not in their interiors; b) discovered a new, small class of DIBs that seem to exist below the surface of clouds but still to exist in the diffuse molecular part of the clouds; c) discovered evidence that the profiles can be slightly modified in the presence of a high IR radiation field (IR pumping); d) used this fact to formulate a new view that the DIBs are small molecules (not yet observed in the lab) containing only 5-7 atoms in some cases; e) enhanced the argument that the DIBs are ubiquitous in the Universe and represent a major puzzle relating to all aspects of the nature of the interstellar medium (grains, star formation, chemistry).
The Virial Equations, Stellar Pulsations, and the Beta Canis Majoris Stars