KICP Colloquia: 2014
DateTalk TitleSpeaker
February 12, 2014LSSTSteve Kahn, Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory
February 26, 2014Dark Energy Survey: Early ResultsBrian D Nord, Fermilab
March 5, 2014News from the Extreme Energy CliffAngela Olinto, University of Chicago
March 12, 2014Taking the Measure of Dark Energy with DESINatalie Roe, LBNL
March 19, 2014Exciting results from BICEP2Clem Pryke, Chris Sheehy and Abigail Vieregg
April 2, 2014A Tale of Two Collaborations: A New Precise Measurement of Cosmological Parameters Using Type Ia SupernovaeRick Kessler, University of Chicago
April 30, 2014Searches for Particle Dark MatterTim M.P. Tait, UC Irvine
May 14, 2014The GeV Excess in the Inner Galaxy: Pulsars or Dark Matter?Douglas P. Finkbeiner, Harvard University
May 21, 2014Lessons from two success storiesGabriele Veneziano, College de France

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

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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.