KICP Lectures, Talks, & Events, 2015
KICP Lectures, Talks, & Events, 2015
January 15, 2015Physics colloquium: Marcela Carena, University of Chicago, "Particle Physics after the Higgs"
January 22, 2015Physics colloquium: John Carlstrom, University of Chicago, "Physics and Cosmology with the Cosmic Microwave Background"
February 9, 2015All Chicago Cosmology Colloquium: Alexander Szalay, Johns Hopkins University, "Baryon Acoustic Oscillations and Redshift Space Distortions"
February 13, 2015The Cabinet: Cosmos
February 23, 2015Mark SubbaRao, Adler Planetarium, "The Future of the Planetarium"
March 3, 2015Broader Horizons: Stephen Hoover, Civis Analytics
March 6, 2015Astronomy Open House for Prospective Graduate Students
March 9, 2015NSF's Google Hangout with KICP
March 17, 2015Broader Horizons: Reid Sherman, "Career Phase Transition: Finding work in science policy"
April 7, 2015Broader Horizons: Krista Martocci, Software Engineer @ Gro Intelligence
April 12, 2015Harper Lecture: Edward W. "Rocky" Kolb, "Brave New Worlds"
April 16, 2015Cosmosis Conversations: "The Artist and Scientist: Understanding Our Universe and Place Within featuring Jeremy Bolen & Juan Collar"
April 27, 2015Cosmosis Conversation: "The Artist and Scientist: Understanding Our Universe and Place Within featuring Sarah and Joseph Belknap + Jacob Bean"
May 7, 2015Harper Lecture: Stephan Meyer, "Researching the Universe in Antarctica"
May 19, 2015SWIP/KICP Pizza with Professors
May 26, 2015All Chicago Cosmology Colloquium: Carlos Frenk, Durham University, "The vicissitudes of the cold dark matter model of cosmology"
May 28, 2015World Science Festival Live Stream viewing and discussion: "To Infinity and Beyond: The Accelerating Universe"
May 29, 2015World Science Festival Salon: "Dark Energy: Measuring a Mystery"
May 30, 2015Chicago Science Fest: The Mysteries of Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Universe
May 30, 201581st Compton Lectures: Andrew McCann, "Nature's Timepiece: The Exotic World of Pulsars"
June 16, 2015Adler Brown Bag Lunch Seminar: Daniel Grin, "Astrophysics to older adults"
June 17, 2015Computations in Science Seminar: Marilena Loverde, University of Chicago, "Cosmic Structure As a Probe of the History of the Universe"
July 28, 2015WorldWide Telescope: A Professional and Public Visualization Tool
September 18, 2015KICP at the Council for Opportunity in Education conference
October 16, 2015Sexual Harassment discussion
October 21, 2015Discussion on the Mid-Decadal review, "New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics"
October 24, 2015Michael S. Turner, "The Realm of Mystery"
November 17 - 18, 2015AstroChicago 123

 
Physics colloquium: Marcela Carena, University of Chicago, "Particle Physics after the Higgs"
January 15, 2015 | 4:00 PM | KPTC 106
The discovery of a Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, marks the beginning of a new journey to understanding the quantum nature of the vacuum, and the origins of matter and dark matter in our universe. Scrutinizing the basic properties of the Higgs Boson and its possible close relatives may shed light into these and other mysteries. Coming LHC data could distinguish models in which the Higgs is a composite state from those advocating the existence of an enhanced symmetry of nature, called Supersymmetry. Future experiments will explore connections between the Higgs boson, dark matter, baryogenesis and neutrinos.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Marcela Carena
 
Physics colloquium: John Carlstrom, University of Chicago, "Physics and Cosmology with the Cosmic Microwave Background"
January 22, 2015 | 4:00 PM | KPTC 106
The study of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) has driven spectacular advances in our understanding the origin, make up and evolution of our universe. We now have a standard cosmological model, ΛCDM, that fits all the cosmological data with only six parameters, although there are some tensions that may hint at that cracks in the model. Far from being the last word in cosmology, the model points to exciting times ahead using the CMB to explore new physics, i.e., inflation, dark matter, dark energy, neutrino masses and possible extra relativistic species, or dark radiation. This talk will review the current status and near term plans for CMB measurements, with emphasis on the South Pole Telescope, and discuss the plans for the next generation experimental program, CMB-S4.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom
 
All Chicago Cosmology Colloquium: Alexander Szalay, Johns Hopkins University, "Baryon Acoustic Oscillations and Redshift Space Distortions"
February 9, 2015 | 2:00 PM | room One West, Fermilab's Wilson Hall
The talk will present results about measuring the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation signal in redshift surveys. The impacts of various effects like survey geometries, redshift space distortions, nonlinear corrections will be discussed. In particular, we will show that redshift-space distortions can substantially sharpen the BAO peak in directions close to the line of sight. We also demonstrate a detection of Baryon Acoustic Oscillations in the SDSS Main Galaxy Survey.
 
The Cabinet: Cosmos
February 13, 2015 | 7:00 PM | Logan Center, Performance Penthouse (915 E 60th St)
The vastness of the observable universe; the seeds of ancient religious belief; a mythical faraway world; the humming network of your neighborhood streets; intricate technological systems; blood vessels inside our bodies; nerves of the brain; the world of a single cell; known and unknown totalities. All these visions conjured by this single term, with infinite possibilities remaining. Our Cosmos Cabinet is built on the idea that such a concept can inspire scientists and artists equally to inquiries and creations that will engage all who are mystified and intrigued by the connections, relationships, orders, limits and limitlessness, and the tremendous scale of the world and worlds we inhabit or imagine. Please join us for a series of performative presentations by scholars and artists from the University of Chicago and beyond, who explore cosmology and its reverberations.

EVENING PROGRAM
  • Cosmic Mysteries: the Dark Universe and the Most Energetic Particles
    a conversation with Angela Olinto (Homer J. Livingston Professor, Chair, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Enrico Fermi Institute; and the College, the University of Chicago)
  • The Night Sky
    a magic lantern performance created by Artemis Willis (filmmaker and media arts curator; PhD Candidate, Cinema and Media Studies, the University of Chicago) featuring Terri Kapsalis (writer, performer and cultural critic; Adjunct Professor of Visual and Critical Studies, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago).
  • Sun Ra
    performed on tenor and soprano saxophones by David Boykin (composer, bandleader, and multi-reed instrumentalist)

Presenter & Performer Bios
  • DAVID BOYKIN is one of the most original and dynamic artists in the Chicago music scene. He is a composer, bandleader, and a multi-reed instrumentalist performing on the tenor and soprano saxophones, the Bb soprano and bass clarinets, and the drum set. He has received many grants and awards for his talents as a composer. He is the leader of the David Boykin Expanse; founder of Sonic Healing Ministries; and an occasional collaborator with other artists. David Boykin began studying music on the clarinet at the age of 21 in 1991 and first performed professionally in 1997. Since 1997 he has released 10 album length recordings as a leader and contributed as a featured soloist to other musicians’ recordings; and performed at major international jazz festivals and smaller jazz venues locally and abroad.
  • TERRI KAPSALIS is a founding member of Theater Oobleck and has performed in 15 Oobleck productions. Her writings have appeared in such publications as Short Fiction, The Baffler, Denver Quarterly, new formations, Public, and Lusitania. Her most recent publication is Jane Addams’ Travel Medicine Kit (Jane Adams Hull-House Museum, 2011). She teaches in Visual and Critical Studies and Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).
  • ANGELA OLINTO is the Homer J. Livingston Professor, Chair, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Enrico Fermi Institute; and the College (UChicago); and a member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (UChicago). Her Research interests are in astroparticle physics and cosmology. While at UChicago, she has expanded her work on cosmic magnetic fields' and has investigated the nature of the dark matter in the universe. Her most recent research encompasses investigations into the origin of the highest energy cosmic particles cosmic rays, gamma U rays and neutrinos. Olinto' received her B.S. in Physics from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and her Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute Technology. Her many awards and accolades included receiving the Chaire d' Excellence Award of the French Agence Nationale de Recherche in 2006 and the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2011.
  • ARTEMIS WILLIS Artemis is a non-fiction filmmaker, media arts curator and scholar of the magic lantern. Her films have screened at the MFA Boston, the Brooklyn Museum and Anthology Film Archives. She has curated magic lantern shows at Film Society of Lincoln Center, the National Gallery of Art, and the Freer and Sackler Galleries. She is presently working on a dissertation at UChicago concerning the international history, practice and culture of the magic lantern.


Related Links:
KICP Members: Angela V. Olinto
 
Mark SubbaRao, Adler Planetarium, "The Future of the Planetarium"
February 23, 2015 | 2:00 PM | Crerar Library, Kathleen A. Zar Room
Website

The first planetarium was developed over 90 years ago. Today thousands of planetaria exist all across the world. This talk will argue that the future of the planetarium is to make the transformation to a big data visualization facility. After reviewing the state of the art in planetarium visualization the talk will conclude with a invitation for University researchers to visualize their data sets at the Adler Planetarium.

Speaker Biography: Mark SubbaRao is the Director of the Space Visualization Laboratory at the Adler Planetarium. He received his bachelors degree in engineering physics at Lehigh University and his Ph.D from Johns Hopkins University in astrophysics. His Ph.D thesis concerned the characterization and evolution of the luminosity function of galaxies. After obtaining his degree he worked as a post doctoral researcher at the University of Chicago on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey a project to make a 3D map of the Universe. He has led the development of major exhibition galleries at the Adler such as "The Universe: A Walk Through Time and Space" and has also produced, written and directed a number of stereoscopic videos and full-dome planetarium shows. These include the planetarium shows "Welcome to the Universe" and "Cosmic Wonder." His visualizations have been widely shown in print and television. He was part of a team that created a first-prize-winning visualization in the 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. He was also on a team that was awarded the best visualization at XCEDE 2013. Dr. SubbaRao chairs the international Planetarium Society's Task Force on Science and Data Visualization, which seeks to realize the potential of the planetarium as a scientific visualization tool.
Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Mark Subbarao
 
Broader Horizons: Stephen Hoover, Civis Analytics
March 3, 2015 | 2:00 PM | TAAC 67
In mid-2014, I left a postdoc as a cosmologist at the University of Chicago to join Civis Analytics as a "data scientist". Civis is a 2-year old Chicago-based tech company that helps organizations use the data they have to connect with the people they care about. Data science is the core of Civis's business, and to us that means smart applications of statistics and machine learning to make sense of real-world person-level data. In this talk, I'll describe what a data scientist does at Civis Analytics, how my PhD in physics prepared me for what I do now, and what a physicist or astronomer could do to prepare for a transition to data science.

Related Links:
KICP Students: Jennifer Helsby
 
Astronomy Open House for Prospective Graduate Students
March 6, 2015 | 9:00 AM | TAAC
    9:00 - 10:00 am
    Welcome and Presentation

    10:00 am -12:00 pm
    Meetings

    12:00 - 1:15 pm
    KICP Friday Seminar: Simona Murgia, UC Irvine, "Indirect Detection of Dark Matter with Gamma Rays"
    1:30 - 3:00 pm
    ERC and Campus Tour
    3:00 - 3:30 pm
    Outreach or Kravtsov Group Meeting
    3:30 - 4:30 pm
    Meetings
    4:30 - 6:00 pm
    Wine and Cheese Reception in TAAC Kitchen/Library

 
NSF's Google Hangout with KICP
March 9, 2015 | 1:00 PM
Website

NSF-funded Physics Frontiers Centers are pushing the frontiers of science across the disciplines of physics. The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) tackles the big questions in cosmology - dark matter, dark energy and how the Universe began. At 2 pm ET / 1 pm CT on Monday, March 9, the NSF Physics Division will host a live hour-long Google Hangout with KICP. We'll talk with the KICP Director and other members about the exciting science going on there including research on the cosmic microwave background and dark matter as well as the center itself and its innovative activities in graduate and postdoctoral education and programs that advance the broader understanding of science. You'll even be able to participate in the discussion using Twitter! No matter what your area of physics or the stage of your physics education or career, tune in to hear all about KICP and just what makes it a PFC.
  • MICHAEL S. TURNER - Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, as well as the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. Turner helped establish the interdisciplinary field that combines together cosmology and elementary particle physics to understand the origin and evolution of the Universe. His research focuses on the earliest moments of creation, and he has made contributions to inflationary cosmology, particle dark matter and structure formation, the theory of big bang nucleosynthesis, and the nature of dark energy.
  • ABIGAIL VIEREGG - Member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, and assistant professor at the University of Chicago, is interested in answering some of the most exciting and fundamental questions about the nature of the universe at its highest energies, through experimental work in particle astrophysics and cosmology. In particle astrophysics, her work is focused on searches for particles called neutrinos that come from the most energetic sources in the universe. These particles will help researchers determine the origin of the highest energy cosmic particles.
  • TIM LINDEN - Member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, and Einstein and KICP Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago, Linden's work has focused on methods for disentangling signals from dark matter annihilation at the center of the Milky Way galaxy from the many astrophysical background sources which are also present in this dense region of space.
  • RANDALL LANDSBERG - Director of Education & Outreach for the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Randall H. Landsberg; Tim Linden; Michael S. Turner; Abigail G. Vieregg
 
Broader Horizons: Reid Sherman, "Career Phase Transition: Finding work in science policy"
March 17, 2015 | 4:00 PM | LASR conference room
As a AAAS Policy Fellow in NASA's Earth Science Division, Reid Sherman gets to see how the US government thinks about its satellite resources, and how decisions get made about the future of earth science research and climate monitoring systems. Prior to that, he has worked for both for-profit and non-profit institutions, and studied the STEM workforce and the state of American postdocs. In this talk, he'll share how he moved from academia into government, what policy work is really like, and some lessons he's learned about making the career transition.

Related Links:
KICP Students: Jennifer Helsby
 
Broader Horizons: Krista Martocci, Software Engineer @ Gro Intelligence
April 7, 2015 | 12:00 PM | TAAC 67
I am currently working at a small start up company called Gro Intelligence, which has offices in Nairobi and New York City. Our main focus is increasing the quality and access to data of agricultural commodities as well as the environmental and market effects that relate to agriculture. I will talk about my current role as a software engineer and how I adjusted from astrophysics, and what it is like to work at a start up as compared to academia.

Related Links:
KICP Students: Jennifer Helsby
 
Harper Lecture: Edward W. "Rocky" Kolb, "Brave New Worlds"
April 12, 2015 | 2:00 PM | Los Angeles, California
Website

UChicago's astronomers travel from Hyde Park to all continents of the world, as well as outer space, to explore the universe. In this lecture, Edward W. "Rocky" Kolb will describe the quest of UChicago astronomers to unlock the mysteries of the universe: dark matter, dark energy, and the possibility that we are not alone.

Edward W. Kolb (usually known as Rocky) is the dean of the Division of the Physical Sciences and the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the founding head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group, the founding director of the Particle Astrophysics Center at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Physical Society, and the recipient of numerous teaching awards. Kolb's book The Early Universe, coauthored with Michael Turner, is the standard textbook on particle physics and cosmology.
Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Edward W. Kolb
 
Cosmosis Conversations: "The Artist and Scientist: Understanding Our Universe and Place Within featuring Jeremy Bolen & Juan Collar"
April 16, 2015 | 4:15 PM | SAIC, Room #707
Website

Join us for a panel conversation featuring COSMOSIS artist Jeremy Bolen and University of Chicago scientist-interlocutor Juan Collar, two dark matter mavericks, as they discuss their investigations of photographic process, particle acceleration, radiation, and all manner of cosmic particles. This intimate discussion will give the audience a chance to listen and ask questions about Jeremy and Juan's processes, allowing for greater access and understanding of the fields of art and science.
Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Juan I. Collar
 
Cosmosis Conversation: "The Artist and Scientist: Understanding Our Universe and Place Within featuring Sarah and Joseph Belknap + Jacob Bean"
April 27, 2015 | 4:15 PM | School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Prof. Jacob Bean
Website

Join us for a conversation between COSMOSIS artist-duo Sarah and Joseph Belknap and exoplanet-expert Jacob Bean as they orbit topics relating to art, experimentation, and our existence within the environment of space. This intimate discussion will give the audience a chance to listen and ask questions about the Belkaps and Bean's processes, allowing for greater access and understanding of the fields of art and science.
Read more >>
 
Harper Lecture: Stephan Meyer, "Researching the Universe in Antarctica"
May 7, 2015 | 6:00 PM | Toronto, Canada
Website

The South Pole Station is an important observatory for astrophysics and cosmology research, but because of the extreme conditions and remoteness of the site, designing, constructing, and operating its research tools is a challenge and an adventure. Several telescopes operate throughout the night - which lasts six months in Antarctica - gathering information on cosmic microwave background radiation and distant clusters of galaxies to explore how the universe as we know it evolved.

Stephan Meyer, LAB'70, a member of the South Pole Telescope team, will talk about the science being investigated with these telescopes and the excitement of carrying out research on the Antarctic continent. Meyer is a professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, the Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College. He was a postdoctoral associate and then assistant professor of physics at MIT before joining the University of Chicago faculty in 1993.
Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Stephan S. Meyer
 
SWIP/KICP Pizza with Professors
May 19, 2015 | 6:30 PM | GCIS Atrium
Pizza with Professors is an event hosted by SWIP (Society of Women in Physics) and KICP designed to bring physics undergraduates, professors, postdocs, and graduate students together over dinner to talk about research, life, the universe, and everything.
 
All Chicago Cosmology Colloquium: Carlos Frenk, Durham University, "The vicissitudes of the cold dark matter model of cosmology"
May 26, 2015 | 2:00 PM | Fermilab, Wison Hall - One West
Professor Carlos S. Frenk is Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University's world-renowned theoretical cosmology research group. Along with collaborators from all over the world, he builds model universes in state-of-the-art supercomputers, trying to understand how the structures in our Universe evolved from simple beginnings to the complex structures composed of stars and galaxies that we see today.
 
World Science Festival Live Stream viewing and discussion: "To Infinity and Beyond: The Accelerating Universe"
May 28, 2015 | 7:00 PM | Hutch Commons
Online Materials (PDF)

7PM (CDT)
Bring food, friends and questions to Hutch Commons for a Live Stream viewing and discussion of "TO INFINITY AND BEYOND: THE ACCELERATING UNIVERSE" with professors Michael S. Turner, John E. Carlstrom and Michael Gladders of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP). Explore modern cosmology's biggest mystery with UofC Professor Josh Frieman, Priyamvada Natarajan, Adam Riess (2011 Noble Laureate), Jan Tauber, and Neil Turok with Lawrence Krauss moderating.

How to WATCH live stream:
Click Here to watch live stream (7-8:30PM Central Time Thursday May 28)

How YOU can ask cosmic questions:
(1) Ask the faculty and other researchers in Hutch Commons!
(2) Send questions to the WSF in NYC before and during the event by emailing wsfliveworldsciencefestival.com
or
via Twitter using the #WSFLive hashtag.

note - The WSF Twitter account will be tweeting questions relating to "Infinity and Beyond" before, during, and after the live-screened event.

It's modern cosmology's biggest mystery -- an unexplained energy that could one day rip the universe apart. It's called dark energy, an anti-gravitational force that confounds the conventional laws of physics. It's the most dominant substance in the universe, making up more than two-thirds of the cosmos. And yet, nearly two decades after its discovery, science is still grappling to explain what dark energy actually is. With today's top physicists as our guides, we'll journey to the earliest moments of the universe -- and then far into the future -- searching for answers.

MODERATOR
Lawrence Krauss
Lawrence Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist and best-selling author. His research focuses on the intersection of cosmology and elementary particle physics. Krausss work addresses questions about the origin of matter in the universe, Einstein's theory of general relativity, astrophysics, the future of the universe, and the properties and description of the dark energy that is thought to account for most of the universe's present energy content. A fervent advocate for science literacy, Lawrence Krauss has written nine books for a general audience, including the bestseller The Physics of Star Trek, and most recently A Universe from Nothing. He was recently awarded the National Science Board's Public Service Award for his contributions to public understanding of science. Krauss is foundation professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and director of the ASU Origins Project at Arizona State University.

PARTICIPANTS
  • Josh Frieman, Cosmologist
    Josh Frieman is a senior staff scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics. He's also a member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago. Frieman's research focuses on cosmology, including the study of dark energy and dark matter, the large-scale structure of the Universe, supernovae, and gravitational lensing. Frieman is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an honorary fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Currently, he serves as director of the Dark Energy Survey, an international collaboration of 300 scientists carrying out a five-year survey of 300 million galaxies using a camera they built for a four-meter telescope in Chile, to explore why the universe is speeding up. Josh Frieman received his B.S. in physics from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago.
  • Priyamvada Natarajan, Cosmologist, Theoretical Astrophysicist
    Priyamvada Natarajan is a professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University. Natarajan's research is focused on exotica in the universe - dark matter, dark energy, and black holes. She is noted for her key contributions to two of the most challenging problems in cosmology: mapping the distribution of dark matter and tracing the growth history of black holes. Her work using gravitational lensing has provided a deeper understanding of the granularity of dark matter in clusters of galaxies and offers a novel way to unravel the nature of dark matter. She also works on the assembly and accretion history of black holes. Deeply invested in the public dissemination of science and a fervent proponent of numerical literacy, she is also a published poet. Along with her academic position at Yale, Natarajan holds the Sophie and Tycho Brahe Professorship at the Dark Center, Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Adam Riess, Astrophysicist
    Adam Riess is the Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, a distinguished astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from MIT and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Currently, he leads the SHOES Team in efforts to improve the measurement of the Hubble Constant, and the Higher-Z Team to probe the origin of cosmic acceleration by measuring distant Type Ia supernovae. In 2011, he was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and was awarded the Albert Einstein Medal for his leadership in the discovery that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, a phenomenon widely attributed to a mysterious, unexplained "dark energy" filling the universe. His accomplishments have been recognized with numerous other awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008.
  • Jan Tauber, Cosmologist
    Jan Tauber has been involved in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) since 1993, when the European Space Agency received two proposals for space experiments to map the CMB. These experiments eventually became the Planck satellite, Europe's flagship experiment in the field. Planck was launched in May 2009 and observed the sky continuously between August 2009 and October 2013. The first major scientific results from Planck were published in 2013. The entirety of the Planck data, including polarization, are being published during 2015. Tauber has guided the scientific development and exploitation of the mission throughout these years.
  • Neil Turok, Physicist
    Neil Turok is one of the world's leading theoretical physicists. Formerly Professor of Physics at Princeton and Chair of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge, he is Director and Niels Bohr Chair at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. Turo's research focuses on developing fundamental theories of cosmology and new observational tests. His predictions for the correlations of the polarization and temperature of the cosmic background radiation (CBR) and of the galaxy-CBR correlations induced by dark energy have been recently confirmed. With Stephen Hawking, he discovered instanton solutions describing the birth of inflationary universes. With Paul Steinhardt, he developed an alternative, cyclic cosmology, whose predictions are so far in agreement with observational tests. Turok founded the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), a network of five centres across Africa. For his scientific discoveries and his work founding and developing AIMS, Turok was awarded a TED Prize in 2008.


Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom; Joshua A. Frieman; Michael D. Gladders; Jason Henning; Elise Jennings; Richard Kessler; Randall H. Landsberg; Michael S. Turner
 
World Science Festival Salon: "Dark Energy: Measuring a Mystery"
May 29, 2015 | 4:30 PM | NYU Global Center, Grand Hall
Website

4:30PM (CDT)

MODERATOR: Mario Livio
PARTICIPANTS: Josh Frieman, Priyamvada Natarajan, Adam Riess

Dark energy may be the most compelling problem in modern cosmology. An unexplained substance, it's believed to be the driving force behind cosmic acceleration. And yet there is no consensus on what dark energy actually is. The answer could have profound implications for our understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. This discussion focuses on three cutting-edge studies of dark energy, each using radically different techniques. Adam Riess, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize for the discovery of dark energy, will share a new technique to more accurately measure the expansion rate of the universe. Priya Natarajan of Yale will explain how dark matter can be used to explore dark energy. And Dark Energy Survey director Joshua Frieman will deliver the very latest from his five-year study.

The World Science Festival's annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival's premier public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and well-informed members of the general public.

MODERATOR
Mario Livio, Astrophysicist, Author
Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which conducts the scientific program of the Hubble Space Telescope and will conduct the scientific program of the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 400 scientific papers on topics ranging from dark energy and cosmology to black holes and extrasolar planets. Livio is the author of five popular science books, including The Golden Ratio (for which he received the Peano Prize and the International Pythagoras Prize) and Is God a Mathematician? Livio's recent book, Brilliant Blunders, was on the New York Times Best Sellers list and was selected by the Washington Post as one of the "2013 Best Books of the Year."

PARTICIPANTS
Josh Frieman, Cosmologist
Josh Frieman is a senior staff scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics. He's also a member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago. Frieman's research focuses on cosmology, including the study of dark energy and dark matter, the large-scale structure of the Universe, supernovae, and gravitational lensing. Frieman is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an honorary fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Currently, he serves as director of the Dark Energy Survey, an international collaboration of 300 scientists carrying out a five-year survey of 300 million galaxies using a camera they built for a four-meter telescope in Chile, to explore why the universe is speeding up. Josh Frieman received his B.S. in physics from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago.

Priyamvada Natarajan, Cosmologist, Theoretical Astrophysicist
Priyamvada Natarajan is a professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University. Natarajan's research is focused on exotica in the universe - dark matter, dark energy, and black holes. She is noted for her key contributions to two of the most challenging problems in cosmology: mapping the distribution of dark matter and tracing the growth history of black holes. Her work using gravitational lensing has provided a deeper understanding of the granularity of dark matter in clusters of galaxies and offers a novel way to unravel the nature of dark matter. She also works on the assembly and accretion history of black holes. Deeply invested in the public dissemination of science and a fervent proponent of numerical literacy, she is also a published poet. Along with her academic position at Yale, Natarajan holds the Sophie and Tycho Brahe Professorship at the Dark Center, Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Adam Riess, Astrophysicist
Adam Riess is the Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, a distinguished astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from MIT and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Currently, he leads the SHOES Team in efforts to improve the measurement of the Hubble Constant, and the Higher-Z Team to probe the origin of cosmic acceleration by measuring distant Type Ia supernovae. In 2011, he was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and was awarded the Albert Einstein Medal for his leadership in the discovery that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, a phenomenon widely attributed to a mysterious, unexplained "dark energy" filling the universe. His accomplishments have been recognized with numerous other awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008.
Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Joshua A. Frieman
 
Chicago Science Fest: The Mysteries of Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Universe
May 30, 2015 | 10:30 AM | 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor, Chicago, IL
Website

Everyone knows there are things we can't see - the air we breathe, for example, or to be more exotic, a black hole. But what you may not know is that what we can see - a tree, a building or our planet - makes up only 5% of the Universe. The other 95% is totally invisible to us and its presence is discernible only by the weak effects it has on visible matter around it.

This invisible stuff comes in two varieties - dark matter and dark energy. One holds the Universe together, while the other tears it apart. (In 1998 was the astonishing revelation that the Universe is not only expanding, but doing so at an ever-quickening pace.) What these forces really are has been a mystery for as long as anyone has suspected they were there, but the latest discoveries of experimental physics have brought us closer to that knowledge. Particle physicist Dan Hooper and cosmologist Elise Jennings will explain some of the toughest ideas science has to offer and how they are working to discover what makes up our dark cosmos. Particle physics explores the fundamental nature of energy and matter, while cosmology is the science of the universe itself, including its composition, history and evolution.

Elise Jennings is a research associate in the astrophysics theory group at Fermi National Laboratory and an associate fellow at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Research at the University of Chicago. She is a computational cosmologist and interested in large scale structure measurements which can constrain dark energy and modified gravity models. In particular she has worked on simulations that allow us to determine the expansion history and growth rate of structure in the universe, which are important ways to test the standard model of cosmology.

Dan Hooper is an Associate Scientist in the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. Previously, he was the David Schramm Fellow at Fermilab, and a postdoc at the University of Oxford. In 2003, he completed his Ph.D in physics at the University of Wisconsin. Dan's research focuses on the interface between particle physics and cosmology. He is especially interested in questions about dark matter, supersymmetry, neutrinos, extra dimensions and cosmic rays.
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KICP Members: Daniel Hooper; Elise Jennings
 
81st Compton Lectures: Andrew McCann, "Nature's Timepiece: The Exotic World of Pulsars"
May 30, 2015 | 11:00 AM | KPTC 106
Every Saturday morning beginning April 4, through June 6, 2015; lectures start at 11:00 a.m. (No lecture on May 23rd, Memorial Day weekend).

Neutron stars are born in the final moments of the supernova death of massive stars and, in keeping with their exotic origin, they exhibit unmatched extremes in a variety of ways. Not only are they the smallest stars we know of, neutron stars are the most dense solid objects in the known Universe. Their surface gravity is 100 billion times that of the Earth and their magnetic fields' strengths, which can reach 1015 Gauss, are the strongest known to exist. Neutron stars are born rotating rapidly and their emission, like the beam from a lighthouse, is observed as a highly stable and regular periodic pulsation - hence the name 'pulsating star' or 'pulsar'. Although pulsars were discovered over 40 years ago and the number of known pulsars exceeds 2400, the physical processes which power the vast array of unique and often bizarre phenomena observed from pulsars are poorly understood. Explaining the observed behaviour of neutron stars has become one of the most challenging puzzles in high-energy astrophysics. Despite the longstanding mystery of their emission, the steady and predictable pulsations from pulsars make them remarkably powerful astrophysical tools. This duality has put pulsars at the centre of some of the most compelling astrophysical research of the last few decades.

Each week we will explore different aspects of this duality, by reviewing pulsar phenomena in different wave bands (radio, optical, x-ray, gamma-ray) and by discussing the role of pulsars in tests of Einstein's theory of relativity and in the search for gravitational waves. No scientific background is required -- just bring your curiosity.

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KICP Members: Andrew McCann
 
Adler Brown Bag Lunch Seminar: Daniel Grin, "Astrophysics to older adults"
June 16, 2015 | 12:00 PM | Adler Planetarium
I will discuss a new program (based at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago) designed to bring astrophysics and broader science content to older adults throughout Chicago. I'll start by highlighting the motivation for life-long learning in general but for senior citizens in particular. I'll then discuss the program we have created at a variety of senior centers and residential communities throughout the Chicago, including presentations by researchers from the University of Chicago, as well as the capstone trip made by senior groups to the Adler planetarium at the end of the program. As I conclude, I will try to touch on outcomes and future avenues for growth of the program.

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KICP Members: Daniel Grin
 
Computations in Science Seminar: Marilena Loverde, University of Chicago, "Cosmic Structure As a Probe of the History of the Universe"
June 17, 2015 | 12:15 PM | KPTC 206
From the tiny fluctuations in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background to the distribution of galaxies seen today, the universe is rich with structure. The gravitational evolution of this structure is a sensitive probe of the matter contents and evolutionary history of the universe. I will discuss how the statistical distribution of cosmic structure can be used to test dark matter, dark energy, and cosmic inflation (the epoch just before the big bang during which all of the structure of the universe was generated by quantum fluctuations).

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KICP Members: Marilena LoVerde
 
WorldWide Telescope: A Professional and Public Visualization Tool
July 28, 2015 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
Visualization of data is a core aspect of most astrophysical research. WorldWide Telescope (WWT) was developed by Microsoft Research to enable rich contextual visual explorations and presentations. As a tool, WWT can be used in research to view datasets in the context of wider spatial scales and comparisons to image and catalog data at various wavelengths as well as a portal to journal articles. It has been used to create video abstracts to complement papers published in ApJ Letters and to generate videos to be used in professional talks. It also provides a way to interact with figures in context in journal articles. Videos and tours can be created to communicate basic or contemporary research to public audiences. WorldWide Telescope can be used to support K-12 as well as undergraduate education in instruction and student projects. What makes this even more exiting is that WWT is now an open source project available in GitHub under the .NET Foundation. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is helping to put together community-based support for this project.

At this lunch talk, you will learn about how you can use WWT in your own research and communication to colleagues and the public. WWT team members Doug Roberts (Northwestern, AAS), Mark SubbaRao (Adler, UofC), and the principal developer Jonathan Fay (Microsoft) will present this talk and take questions about WWT as a tool, its new life under open source development and future roadmap.

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KICP Members: Randall H. Landsberg; Mark Subbarao
 
KICP at the Council for Opportunity in Education conference
September 18, 2015 | Atlanta, GA
Website

This year's conference, "Renewing the American Promise of 1965," features thought-provoking and practical sessions to address the importance of and potential for educational opportunity.

September 18, 2015 in Atlanta, GA
"S.T.E.M. Partnership in Process: Collaborating Across Organizations Identifying Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Resources to Support TRIO Programs"

Joy Brittain, Ed.D.
Director Early Outreach Support Programs
California State Univ.

Dovetta McKee, J.D.
Director Office of Special Programs
University of Chicago

Randall H. Landsberg
Director Education & Outreach
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
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KICP Members: Randall H. Landsberg
 
Sexual Harassment discussion
October 16, 2015 | 2:00 PM | ERC 401
Dear Colleagues in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics,

As you probably learned over the last few days, Geoff Marcy of the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) has admitted to unacceptable behavior involving women in his field over a number of years. His admission followed sexual harassment complaints by the women concerned and a university investigation.

The University of Chicago does not tolerate sexual harassment - it has no place in research or in any other workplace. Our policy can be found here: http://sexualharassment.uchicago.edu.

To help us with this very serious issue, I have invited Ingrid E. Gould, Associate Provost for Faculty and Student Affairs and Sarah Wake, Affirmative Action Officer to join all of us in the Department for an important discussion about this topic.

PLEASE join us for a conversation with Ingrid and Sarah on Friday the 16th at 2pm in ERC 401.

Angela V. Olinto,
Homer J. Livingston Professor and Chair
Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics

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KICP Members: Angela V. Olinto
 
Discussion on the Mid-Decadal review, "New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics"
October 21, 2015 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
Dear Astro and KICP colleagues,

Please bring your lunch to an open discussion on the Mid-Decadal review this Wednesday October 21 at noon in ERC 401.

The National Research Council was asked by NASA, NSF, and DoE, to review these agencies' responses to the 2010 NRC decadal survey, "New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics" (NWNH). I am in this review committee and would be interested in hearing your view on the progress towards the NWNH vision or any other views you may want to share.

Michael Turner kindly agreed to review the NWNH recommendations for us, John Carlstrom agreed to update us on the WFIRST NRC report and Josh Frieman to update us on the EUCLID participation of the US.

If you have an interest on the future of space missions for the science we are most involved in, please bring your ideas.

In the future we would also like to discuss the OIR system report, the P5 report, and the Portfolio Review and their effect on our science.

Angela V. Olinto,
Homer J. Livingston Professor and Chair Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics

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KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom; Joshua A. Frieman; Angela V. Olinto; Michael S. Turner
 
Michael S. Turner, "The Realm of Mystery"
October 24, 2015 | 2:30 PM | The Helix Center
Michael S. Turner, Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor of Physics, the University of Chicago
Website

Donald Rumsfeld famously said, "There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know." From a philosophical perspective, how do we know what we don’t know? How do we go about transforming "known unknowns" into "known knowns" and "unknown unknowns" into "known unknowns"? Is one person's unknown another person's cognitive bias? How might a psychoanalytic understanding of dynamic mental function play a role here? And what role does mystery play in our lives, from scientific, religious, and other perspectives?

Participants
  • Megan Abbott, Author
  • Carol Rovane, Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University
  • Michael S. Turner, Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor of Physics, the University of Chicago
  • Elliot Wolfson, Marsha and Jay Glazer Chair Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies, the University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Susan Wolfson, Professor of English, Princeton University

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KICP Members: Michael S. Turner
 
AstroChicago 123
November 17 - 18, 2015 | Chicago, IL
Website | Photo Gallery

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is celebrating its 123rd anniversary together with the 125th anniversary of the founding of the University of Chicago. The Department is also celebrating its new home, the William Eckhardt Research Center, a state-of-the-art research building that will house all members of the Department after more than 50 years of being located in several sites.

Faculty, researchers, students, staff, alumni, and friends of the Department are cordially invited to the celebration.

On November 17th and 18th, faculty, researchers, students, staff, alumni, and friends of the Department will gather in the William Eckhardt Research Center for an event that will showcase the Department's history, latest scientific achievements, and vision for the future of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The two-day event will feature talks, panels, and a film to celebrate and explore our rich heritage and our bold aspirations for future research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, including: the origin and evolution of the Universe; the search for Earth twins; the most extreme phenomena in the Universe; state-of-the art computing and observing tools; future technologies needed to advance our knowledge; and advances in graduate and undergraduate teaching and public outreach of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
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KICP Members: Angela V. Olinto