KICP Workshops, 2015
Dark Matter Hub meeting
February 17, 2015 | 9:00 AM | LASR conference room
Organizers: Lian-Tao Wang, Edward W. Kolb, Carlos E. M. Wagner, Tongyan Lin

We will host a dark matter hub meeting at KICP on Feb 17 (9 am - 1:30 pm).

The theme will be "beyond the simple WIMP" and focusing on a broader framework of the dark matter sector.

Dan Chung - "Dark matter in the early universe"
Bibhushan Shakya - "Neutrino Masses and Sterile Neutrino Dark Matter from the PeV Scale"
Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine - "Gravitational Detection of Self-Interacting Dark Matter"
Tongyan Lin - "CMB probes of WIMP and non-WIMP dark matter"
Dan Grin - "Axions in cosmology"
12:30 - 1:30
Lunch and discussion on dark sector, lead by Rocky Kolb

Related Links:
KICP Members: Edward W. Kolb; Tongyan Lin; Carlos E. M. Wagner; Lian-Tao Wang
American Society on Aging Workshop: "Bringing Astrophysics to Older Adults"
March 24, 2015 | 1:00 PM | Chicago, IL

Location: Michigan A (East Tower, Bronze Level) , Hyatt Regency Chicago

This session will highlight a new program to bring astrophysics to older adults, where older Chicagoans are learning all about space from the researchers themselves. Come learn about how the physicists were prepared to work with older adults, how the programming was marketed and implemented, and the outcomes of this novel project.

1. Increase understanding of opportunities to interact with University or Research settings and to bring their expertise to older adults in your community.
2. Identify components of the training that was provided to prepare astrophysics faculty to have a successful presentation to older adults.
3. Recognize the different marketing and outreach techniques used to bring older audiences to the project and programming.
4. Develop ideas for replication of high level programming in their own communities.
5. Learn about the experience of and lessons learned by a physics researcher working with older adults and the aging network, and bringing their expertise to a new audience.

1. Physicists learned how to better reach older audiences
2. Older adults were exposed to high level science programming
3. Collaboration between the University of Chicago, Chicago Department on Aging and other community-based organizations.
4. Development of a model to unite university faculty with older adult programming.

  • Joyce Gallagher, MA, Executive Director of Senior Services, City of Chicago - Department of Family and Support Services
  • Daniel Grin, PhD, RN, KICP Associate fellow, NSF Astronomy and, University of Chicago
  • Karen Kolb Flude, MS, RFG, Principal, Age with Ease


Related Links:
KICP Members: Daniel Grin
CMB Spectral Distortion Workshop
May 18 - 20, 2015 | Chicago, IL

Organizers: Stephan S. Meyer, Daniel Grin

The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago is hosting a workshop on CMB spectral distortions.

The frequency spectrum of the Cosmic Microwave Background has been shown to be a blackbody to a precision of 50 parts per million. However, at higher sensitivity the CMB is expected to show distortions from the blackbody shape. These distortions contain the signatures of energy-releasing processes in the early universe. A new experiment could improve the sensitivity to distortions by a factor of 1000 or more, opening a new window into the physics of the early universe.

This workshop will explore the science potential and design requirements for such an experiment. A series of working sessions will examine the spectral signatures from different effects, instrument trades to reach different sensitivity levels, and data analysis techniques to maximize the science return from the spatial/spectral maps.

The conference will be three days, Monday May 18 through Wednesday May 20.

  • The first day, Monday, will include an overview of the scientific questions accessible with CMB spectral distortion measurements, both from a theoretical and experimental perspective. These include predictions for the type and amplitude of distortions due to specific energy inputs in the early universe as well as predictions for the competing Galactic foreground emission. Experimental considerations include the sensitivity and accuracy of possible instruments and the trade space for optimization.
  • The second day, Tuesday, will consist of splinter sessions followed by short plenary reports. The goal is to allow workshop participants to exchange ideas and potentially develop collaborations for future research. Each splinter session will have a workshop leader who will give a brief splinter report. Reports from earlier sessions will inform and modify later sessions as freewheeling discussion leads to new critical topics. The topics for the splinter sessions are open for modification. The last topic of the Monday program is to update the splinter session topics. Suggestions for additional topics are invited.
  • The third day, Wednesday, will consist of topical reviews of the activities leading into a discussion of priorities for future research, both theoretical and experimental.


Related Links:
KICP Members: Daniel Grin; Stephan S. Meyer
Graduate Student Symposium
June 12, 2015 | 11:30 AM | LASR conference room
11:30 - 12:00
Food and Coffee
12:00 - 12:05
12:05 - 12:20
Pavel Motloch - "Neutrino detection with transition radiation"
12:25 - 12:40
Laura Kreidberg - "Exoplanet Atmospheres"
12:45 - 1:00
Sasha (Alexander) Kaurov - "Effect of Dark Matter annihilations on reionization and recombination"
1:00 - 1:05
1:05 - 1:20
Alan Robinson - "Dark Matter Searches need Nuclear Physics"
1:25 - 1:40
Chen He - "Probing the Early Universe with the CMB"
1:45 - 2:00
Sean Mills - "Observed Resonance in Kepler Planets"

Related Links:
KICP Students: Chen He Heinrich; Brittany Kamai; Pavel Motloch; Alan Robinson
Putting Your Data into World Wide Telescope (WWT)
July 28, 2015 | 9:00 AM | Chicago, IL

Tuesday July 28, 2015
9AM - 6PM
LASR Conference Room

This will be an intensive 1-day working workshop for people who are interested in porting their data into WorldWide Telescope and developing uses for that data in WWT - video abstracts, tours, etc. A follow-up data showcase at the Adler Planetarium is also planned.

A lunch talk will provide the larger KICP community with a broad introduction to WWT and ways that its stunning visuals can be used for outreach, teaching, professional talks, publications and research.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Randall H. Landsberg; Mark Subbarao
Mission to Mars: Engineering Design Process, Yerkes Summer Institute
August 2 - 8, 2015 | Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI
Photo Gallery

Organizer: Randall H. Landsberg

Instructors: Louis Abramson, Ross Cawthon, Zoheyr Doctor, Dylan Hatt, Chen He, Sean Johnson, Randy Landsberg, Jason Poh.

Tonight we will begin a week of engineering and exploration. Throughout the week, we will tackle a number of engineering challenges associated with exploring a distant planet: Mars. After this week of working in teams, defining problems, brainstorming, building, testing, and improving your designs, you will make a presentation to your family and fellow students about what you did and learned. Below, we describe the institute schedule and format so you can better plan for the week ahead. The institute will kick-off with a star party hosted by the Milwaukee Astronomical Society (MAS) on Sunday night. During the day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we will focus on three daytime laboratories, each of which explores a different engineering challenge associated with exploring the surface of Mars: Robotic Manipulation, Extraterrestrial Navigation and Launching/Landing (see lab summary descriptions on page iii). You will be divided into three groups named after past Mars missions: VIKING, PATHFINDER, and CURIOSITY. Each group will devote an entire day to each daytime lab, but the groups will cycle through the labs in a different order. By the end of the day on Wednesday, each group will have performed all three of the day labs.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Randall H. Landsberg
KICP Students: Louis Abramson; Ross Cawthon; Zoheyr Doctor; Dylan Hatt; Chen He Heinrich; Sean Johnson; Jason Poh
DESUC2015: Chicagoland-based DES meeting
September 3, 2015 | 9:30 AM | Chicago, IL

Organizers: Lindsey Bleem, Daniel Scolnic, Vinu Vikram

This 1-day long Chicagoland-based DES meeting creates a common discussion platform for those who work on Dark Energy Survey (DES) at the KICP, University of Chicago, Fermilab, UIUC, NCSA, and Argonne. The ongoing Dark Energy Survey is designed to probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of dark energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision. Learn more about the survey at the DES website. The objectives of this meeting are to provide updates and to discuss various science/infrastructure projects that are going on in Chicagoland and to provide a channel for interested people to join ongoing and create new projects.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Lindsey Bleem; Daniel Scolnic; Vinu Vikram
Scientific projects: Dark Energy Survey (DES)
Calibration of low energy particle detectors
September 23 - 25, 2015 | Chicago, IL
Website | Photo Gallery

Organizers: Alvaro Chavarria, Juan I. Collar, Luca Grandi, Paolo Privitera, Richard Saldanha

The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago is hosting a workshop on the calibration of the energy response of a wide range of different targets and technologies that are currently being implemented and/or explored for the detection of the lowest energy signals from dark matter and neutrino interactions. These include scintillating crystals, ionization and phonon solid state detectors, noble liquid scintillation and ionization detectors, and superheated detectors.

We aim to bring together a diverse group of scientists to report, propose and discuss the various calibration techniques.

Current research at KICP includes multiple efforts, on- and off-site, on the calibration of bubble chambers, charge-coupled devices, noble liquid time projection chambers, p-type point-contact Ge detectors and CsI crystals.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Alvaro Chavarria; Juan I. Collar; Luca Grandi; Paolo Privitera; Richard Saldanha
Exploring Theories of Modified Gravity
October 12 - 14, 2015 | Chicago, IL

Organizers: Scott Dodelson, Austin Joyce, Wayne Hu, Hayato Motohashi, Lian-Tao Wang

The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago is hosting a workshop this fall on theories of modified gravity. The purpose of workshop is to discuss recent progress and interesting directions in theoretical research into modified gravity. Topics of particular focus include: massive gravity, Horndeski, beyond Horndeski, and other derivatively coupled theories, screening and new physics in the gravitational sector, and possible observational probes of the above. The meeting will be relatively small, informal, and interactive workshop for the focused topics.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Scott Dodelson; Wayne Hu; Austin Joyce; Hayato Motohashi; Lian-Tao Wang
Dark Matter Hub workshop
November 16, 2015 | 9:00 AM | ERC 401
Organizers: Edward W. Kolb, Andrew J. Long, Lian-Tao Wang

We will host a dark matter HUB meeting at KICP/EFI on Nov 16 (9 am - 1:30 pm) in Room 401 ERC.

Dan Hooper - "Dark Matter Indirect Detection with Subhalos"
Gordon Krnjaic - "Discovering or Falsifying Light Thermal Dark Matter"
Seyda Ipek - "Reducing Small Scale Structure via DM-Neutrino Interactions"
Coffee Break
Cosmin Deaconu - "Experimental Status of Directional Dark Matter
Andrey Kravstov - "Dark Matter Halo Structure: New Results and Insights"
Lunch and discussion

Related Links:
KICP Members: Cosmin Deaconu; Daniel Hooper; Edward W. Kolb; Andrey V. Kravtsov; Andrew J. Long; Lian-Tao Wang
Giant Radio Array for Neutrino Detection (GRAND)
December 15, 2015 | 9:00 AM | ERC 401

Organizer: Abigail G. Vieregg

KICP is hosting a workshop on GRAND (Giant Radio Array for Neutrino Detection) on December 15. The goal of the workshop is to bring together experts in large-scale array deployment, radio-detection and neutrino astrophysics, in order to discuss the technical challenges of the GRAND project.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Abigail G. Vieregg
The Science of Musical Instruments, Yerkes Winter Institute
December 27 - 29, 2015 | Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay, WI
Organizer: Randall H. Landsberg

Instructors: Cosmin Deaconu, Zoheyr Doctor, Brittany Kamai, Randy Landsberg, Rito Basu Thakur.

At this Yerkes Winter Institute, we will explore the connections between musical instruments and the physics of sound. Students will build their own pan flutes, drums, and synthesizers to learn about the principles that drive instrument design and construction. With homemade instruments in hand, students will examine how physical parameters and playing techniques affect sound and quality (i.e., frequency and time domain waveforms produced by their instruments).

Related Links:
KICP Members: Ritoban Basu Thakur; Cosmin Deaconu; Randall H. Landsberg
KICP Students: Zoheyr Doctor; Brittany Kamai