Talks & Events
KICP Colloquia: 2010
The Generation and Evolution of Cosmic Magnetic Fields
Despite spectacular recent progress in cosmology, the origin of magnetic fields in the Universe remains unknown. I will review the evidence, emphasizing recent detections of extremely weak intergalactic fields, discuss the evolution of these fields over time, and talk about their effects on astrophysical processes.
Coherent Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering: From Supernovas to Reactors
Coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering is a non-controversial prediction of the Standard Model of Particle Physics that has yet to be experimentally verified. In the first part of the talk I will discuss a new research effort to search for this elusive process at a spallation source using a small CsI(Na) detector. I will show how this detector can be easily scaled to a size relevant for studies of fundamental neutrino properties and discuss its potential as a supernova-neutrino detector. The second part of the talk will focus on exploiting the coherent scattering process and a new type of low-noise large-mass germanium detector to monitor the emission of antineutrinos from operating nuclear reactors. Details of this new germanium detector will be presented and I will discuss how this technology has allowed us to perform one of the most sensitive light-WIMP searches thus far.
Understanding the Cosmic Recombination Epoch
Exploration of the "Circum-galactic" Medium of Galaxies at High Redshift
During the peak epoch of galaxy formation, the intergalactic medium is both the source of gas fueling star formation in forming galaxies, as well as the waste dump for the products of star formation and black hole accretion that are not retained by galaxies. By studying the "Circum-Galactic Medium", the region within a few hundred physical kpc of forming galaxies, one can begin to constrain the flow of baryons into and out of galaxies. At present, there is a puzzling discrepancy between observations and theoretical expectations whose resolution may be the key to unraveling the aspects of galaxy formation that are least well-understood.