KICP Colloquia
KICP Wednesday Colloquia - Usually Wednesdays, 3 PM, BSLC 001, unless otherwise specified. Reception starts at 4 PM in LASR conference room. For more information visit the KICP website.

Past KICP Colloquia
DateTalk TitleSpeaker
October 22, 2014Two milestones in the history of the Universe: last scattering surface and black body photosphere of the UniverseRashid Sunyaev, Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics
October 15, 2014Cosmological Imprints of Dark Matter Produced During InflationDaniel Chung, University of Wisconsin, Madison
October 1, 2014Gravitational wave astrophysics with LIGODaniel Holz, University of Chicago
May 21, 2014Lessons from two success storiesGabriele Veneziano, College de France
May 14, 2014The GeV Excess in the Inner Galaxy: Pulsars or Dark Matter?Douglas P. Finkbeiner, Harvard University
April 30, 2014Searches for Particle Dark MatterTim M.P. Tait, UC Irvine
April 2, 2014A Tale of Two Collaborations: A New Precise Measurement of Cosmological Parameters Using Type Ia SupernovaeRick Kessler, University of Chicago
March 19, 2014Exciting results from BICEP2Clem Pryke, Chris Sheehy and Abigail Vieregg
March 12, 2014Taking the Measure of Dark Energy with DESINatalie Roe, LBNL
March 5, 2014News from the Extreme Energy CliffAngela Olinto, University of Chicago
February 26, 2014Dark Energy Survey: Early ResultsBrian D Nord, Fermilab
February 12, 2014LSSTSteve Kahn, Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory

February 12, 2014 | BSLC 115 | 3:00 PM
Steve Kahn, Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory


Dark Energy Survey: Early Results
February 26, 2014 | BSLC 115 | 3:00 PM
Brian D Nord, Fermilab

The expansion of the universe is accelerating, a discovery that earned the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics. Is cosmic acceleration due to "dark energy," or do we need to modify Einstein's General Relativity? If it is a new form of energy, is it constant or changing in time? Addressing these questions is the primary goal of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). After achieving first light in 2012, followed by months of commissioning and science verification, DES has just completed its first season of science observations at the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The DES Collaboration built a new 570-megapixel digital imager, the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), to carry out a deep, wide survey over the course of five (5) years---observing thousands of Type-Ia supernovae and hundreds of millions of galaxies. The thick, red-sensitive imager will allow us to see more supernovae and galaxies at higher redshift than previous surveys, like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). These observations will provide a suite of cosmological signatures: the Supernova Hubble diagram, galaxy cluster number counts, large-scale galaxy clustering and weak gravitational lensing. With this data, we will probe both the cosmic expansion history and the growth of large-scale structures, and thus explore the nature of dark energy. I will discuss the motivation for DES, the first years of operation and early results.

News from the Extreme Energy Cliff
March 5, 2014 | BSLC 115 | 3:00 PM
Angela Olinto, University of Chicago

Thanks to giant extensive air-showers observatories, such as the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array, we now know that the sources of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) are extragalactic. We also know that either they interact with the CMB as predicted or they run out of energy at the same energy scale of the CMB interactions! Their composition is either surprising (dominated by heavier nuclei at the highest energies) or the hadronic interactions at 100 TeV are not a standard extrapolation of LHC interaction energies. Hints of anisotropies begin to appear as energies reach 60 EeV, just when statistics become very limited. Basic questions remain unanswered: What generates such extremely energetic particles that reach above 10^20 eV (100 EeV)? Where do they come from? How do they reach these energies? What are they? How do they interact on their way to Earth and with the Earth's atmosphere? To answer these questions larger statistics at the highest energies is necessary. Space-based observatories can significantly improve the exposure to these extremely energetic particles. The first step to answer these questions is to place a wide field UV telescope at the International State Station to monitor the Earth's atmosphere from above. This is the goal of the JEM-EUSO mission: the Extreme Universe Space Observatory (EUSO) at the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).

Taking the Measure of Dark Energy with DESI
March 12, 2014 | BSLC 115 | 3:00 PM
Natalie Roe, LBNL


Exciting results from BICEP2
March 19, 2014 | KPTC 106 | 3:00 PM
Clem Pryke, Chris Sheehy and Abigail Vieregg


A Tale of Two Collaborations: A New Precise Measurement of Cosmological Parameters Using Type Ia Supernovae
April 2, 2014 | BSLC 115 | 3:00 PM
Rick Kessler, University of Chicago


Searches for Particle Dark Matter
April 30, 2014 | BSLC 115 | 3:00 PM
Tim M.P. Tait, UC Irvine

Dark Matter is all around us, a clear sign of physics beyond the Standard Model, and yet we will have not understood what it is and how it fits into the larger picture. In this talk, I will discuss what we know about dark matter and how different kinds of searches, including searches for its collision with heavy nuclei, production at accelerators, and signs of its annihilation in our galaxy, combine together to give us information about how it (doesn't) interact with ordinary matter. The picture that will emerge is one where different searches complement each other, offering rich opportunities to understand the nature of dark matter in the near future.

The GeV Excess in the Inner Galaxy: Pulsars or Dark Matter?
May 14, 2014 | BSLC 115 | 3:00 PM
Douglas P. Finkbeiner, Harvard University

Lessons from two success stories
May 21, 2014 | BSLC 109 | 3:00 PM
Gabriele Veneziano, College de France

Our present understanding of Nature is based on the Concordance Model of gravity and cosmology and on the Standard Model for the constituents of matter and their non-gravitational interactions. Their amazing successes --and puzzles-- may carry some important lessons for our quest of a truly unified theory of space, time, and matter.

Gravitational wave astrophysics with LIGO
October 1, 2014 | BSLC 115 | 3:00 PM
Daniel Holz, University of Chicago

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.

Cosmological Imprints of Dark Matter Produced During Inflation
October 15, 2014 | BSLC 001 | 3:00 PM
Daniel Chung, University of Wisconsin, Madison

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.

Two milestones in the history of the Universe: last scattering surface and black body photosphere of the Universe
October 22, 2014 | BSLC 109 | 3:00 PM
Rashid Sunyaev, Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics