KICP News, 2013



 
The KICP will welcome 3 new Fellows in the Autumn of 2013
January 22, 2013
The KICP will welcome 3 new Fellows in the Autumn of 2013
Tim Linden will join the KICP as a Fellow after finishing up his degree at UC Santa Cruz. Tim's research focuses on the indirect detection of particle dark matter with a particular interest in separating potential dark matter signals from astrophysical backgrounds.

Chris Sheehy will join the KICP as a Fellow after receiving his degree from the UofC. He has spent significant time at the University of Minnesota as well. Chris is a CMB experimentalist who has worked extensively on the search for B-mode polarization on the BICEP and Keck Array experiments. At the KICP, Chris will continue on those experiments while contributing his expertise to the SPT project.

Austin Joyce will join us as a joint EFI/McCormick and KICP Fellow. Austin is currently at Penn where his research has focused on applications of quantum field theory to cosmology. Areas that he has been particularly active in are formal aspects of inflationary universe theories and investigations of galileon theories to explain the late time acceleration of the Universe.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Austin Joyce; Tim Linden; Christopher D. Sheehy
 
Two JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellowship recipients to visit the KICP this year
January 30, 2013
Two JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellowship recipients to visit the KICP this year
Toshihiro Fujii of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research at the University of Tokyo will be visiting the KICP from April 1, 2013 until March 31, 2015. Toshihiro will be hosted by Paolo Privitera and will be working with Chicago members of the Pierre Auger Observatory. He intends to study the mass composition of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECR) and work on developing a large ground array of fluorescence detectors for UHECR detection.
Hayato Motohashi of the Research Center for the Early Universe at the University of Tokyo will visit the KICP between September 17, 2013 and September 16, 2015. Hayato will be hosted by Wayne Hu during his stay. His research interests include theoretical studies of inflation, dark energy, and modified theories of gravity.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Toshihiro Fujii; Wayne Hu; Hayato Motohashi; Paolo Privitera
Scientific projects: Pierre Auger Observatory (AUGER)
 
Pizza with Professors
February 20, 2013
Pizza with Professors
On February 19th, the Society of Women in Physics(SWIP) and the KICP joined forces to host "Pizza with Professors," a dinner and discussion about the joys and stresses of pursuing a career in physics. Professors and post-doctoral fellows from the KICP joined faculty from the Physics department in speaking with around 50 undergraduate Physics majors. The event was held in the Kersten Family Atrium of the University's Gordon Center for the Integrative Sciences. Participants left with a better appreciation of what a career in physics or a related field ultimately requires.

Slide show

Related Links:
KICP Members: Bradford A. Benson; Hsiao-Wen Chen; Joshua A. Frieman; Daniel E. Holz; Angela V. Olinto; M. Ted Ressell; Ali Vanderveld
 
University of Chicago joins the Extreme Universe Space Observatory
March 5, 2013
University of Chicago joins the Extreme Universe Space Observatory
JEM-EUSO website

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awarded a $4.4 million grant to a collaboration of scientists at five U.S. universities and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to help build a telescope for deployment on the International Space Station in 2017.

The U.S. collaboration is part of a 13-nation effort to build the 2.5-meter ultraviolet telescope, called the Extreme Universe Space Observatory. The telescope will monitor the Earth's atmosphere searching for the mysterious source of the most energetic particles in the universe from the ISS's Japanese Experiment Module.

The source of these energetic particles, called ultra high-energy cosmic rays, has remained one of the great mysteries of science since French physicist Pierre Auger discovered them 75 years ago. These cosmic rays consist of protons and other subatomic scraps of matter that fly through the universe at almost light speed.

"The science goal is to discover the sources of ultra high-energy cosmic rays by observing their traces in the atmosphere looking 250 miles from the ISS down to the surface," said Angela Olinto, professor in astronomy & astrophysics at the University of Chicago. Olinto leads the U.S. collaboration, which includes scientists at the Colorado School of Mines, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Marshall Space Flight Center.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Angela V. Olinto
 
KICP postdocs and graduate students at the "Expanding Your Horizons" symposium
April 1, 2013
KICP postdocs and graduate students at the
Two KICP postdocs Ali Vanderveld and Elise Jennings as well as Ph.D. students Abigail Crites, Alissa Bans and Brittany Kamai took part in the "Expanding Your Horizons" (EYH) outreach event.
"Expanding Your Horizons" is a one day symposium for middle school girls showing them the exciting and diverse experiences science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers have to offer. Volunteers from the Chicago STEM community organize short, hands-on workshops to directly engage with the girls at a critical time in their development. EYH is a nationally recognized program and the University of Chicago is proud bring it to the Windy City!

Related Links:
KICP Members: Elise Jennings; Ali Vanderveld
KICP Students: Alissa Bans; Abigail T. Crites; Brittany Kamai
 
The first COUPP-60 bubble at SNOLAB
May 1, 2013
The first COUPP-60 bubble at SNOLAB
Stereoscopic view of the first COUPP-60 bubble at SNOLAB. Visible on the sides are the strings of piezoelectric sensors used to discriminate between alpha radioactivity and nuclear recoils like those expected from dark matter interactions.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Juan I. Collar
Scientific projects: COUPP/PICO
 
Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Becker!
May 16, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Becker!
Congratulations to Matthew Becker for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "CALCLENS: Weak Lensing Simulations for Large-Area Sky Surveys and Second-Order Effects in Cosmic Shear Power Spectra."

"Matt's thesis work, in which he has developed a novel algorithm of computing distorsions of galaxy images using data from cosmological simulations, significantly advances our ability to make realistic theoretical predictions for upcoming wide area surveys aiming to map matter distribution in the universe on large scales."
- Andrey Kravtsov, PhD advisor

Matthew has received a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Andrey V. Kravtsov
KICP Students: Matthew Becker
 
Congratulations to Dr. Lindsey Bleem!
May 28, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Lindsey Bleem!
Congratulations to Lindsey Bleem for successfully defending her PhD dissertation on "A Multi-Wavelength Study of Optically Selected Galaxy Clusters from the Blanco Cosmology Survey."

"After making critical contributions to every aspect of the 10m South Pole Telescope (SPT) program, from testing the initial detectors at Chicago, optimizing the performance of the telescope at the South Pole, analyzing the cosmic microwave background data and leading the optical follow up observations and analysis, Lindsey's thesis has taken the first major step in the joint analysis of the SPT and optical survey data sets. This work thoroughly explores the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich signal of an optical selected sample of galaxy clusters, laying the groundwork and identifying the challenges for obtaining precision dark energy constraints from the much anticipated joint analysis of the SPT data with the upcoming optical data from the Dark Energy Survey."
- John Carlstrom, PhD advisor

Lindsey has received a Director's Fellowship at the Argonne National Laboratory.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom
KICP Students: Lindsey E. Bleem
 
Kyle Story has been selected for a Dissertation Year Fellowship
May 31, 2013
Kyle Story has been selected for a Dissertation Year Fellowship
Kyle Story has been selected for a William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship for the 2013-14 academic year.

The intent of the award is two-fold: to recognize significant achievement and to facilitate completion of the doctoral degree. This award, one of the University of Chicago's highest honors, is given in recognition of your record of achievement and professional promise. The Harper Dissertation Fellowship provides a stipend of $10,000. The stipend will be disbursed in three equal parts at the start of the autumn, winter, and spring quarters.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom
KICP Students: Kyle Story
Scientific projects: South Pole Telescope (SPT)
 
Congratulations to Dr. Denis Erkal!
May 31, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Denis Erkal!
Congratulations to Denis Erkal for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "Investigating the Physics and Environment of Lyman Limit Systems in Cosmological Simulations."

"In his thesis Denis Erkal has modelled circumgalactic gas using state of the art cosmological simulations and compared model results with existing observations. Such comparisons provide unique and valuable information about how galaxies have assembled their baryonic mass and stellar feedback processes that accompany this assembly."
- Andrey Kravtsov, PhD advisor

Related Links:
KICP Members: Nickolay Y. Gnedin; Andrey V. Kravtsov
KICP Students: Denis Erkal
 
Daniel Grin will bring his NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship to the KICP
June 18, 2013
Daniel Grin will bring his NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship to the KICP
Daniel Grin is interested in a variety of topics in theoretical cosmology and astrophysics, including cosmological recombination, inflationary perturbations, distortions of the CMB blackbody, isocurvature fluctuations, primordial/non-primordial CMB non-Gaussianity and its optimal statistical estimation, the cosmic microwave background more generally, axions, dark matter halo profiles, dynamical processes near the galactic center, resonant friction/relaxation, nonstandard thermal histories for the early universe, modifications to general relativity, gravitational lensing, and Lyman limit absorbers.

Daniel received an undergraduate degree in Physics from Princeton University in 2003, a Master of Studies degree in Philosophy from Oxford in 2004, and his Ph.D. in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology in 2010, after which he has been a 3-year postdoctoral member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. As an NSF fellow Daniel will continue his research program and develop an astronomy outreach effort for Chicago senior citizens. When not doing physics, Daniel enjoys playing the cello, spending time outdoors, reading, exploring Chicago, and spending time with his wife and daughter.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Daniel Grin
 
Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Williams!
June 25, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Williams!
Congratulations to Christopher Williams for successfully defending his PhD dissertation on "A Search For Microwave Emission From Cosmic Ray Air Showers."

"The unsolved mystery of ultra-high energy cosmic rays demands a novel approach to the detection of these very rare particles. Chris - a natural-born experimentalist - has made an outstanding contribution with his thesis, by exploring the potential of microwave emission from extensive air showers through a series of careful and accurate measurements. He brought to life MIDAS, an exploratory detector currently taking data at the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina, and MAYBE, an electron beam experiment at the Argonne National Laboratory. Measurements performed by these instruments are the most precise of a world-wide campaign to detect microwave emission from cosmic rays."
- Paolo Privitera, PhD advisor

Christopher has received a fellow position at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (Stanford).

Related Links:
KICP Members: Paolo Privitera
KICP Students: Christopher Williams
Scientific projects: Microwave Detection of Air Showers (MIDAS)
 
Detection of B-mode Polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background with Data from the South Pole Telescope
July 23, 2013
FIG. 1: (Left panel): Wiener-filtered E-mode polarization measured by SPTpol at 150 GHz. (Center panel): Wiener-ltered CMB lensing potential inferred from CIB fluctuations measured by Herschel at 500 μm. (Right panel): Gravitational lensing B-mode estimate synthesized using Eq. (1). The lower left corner of each panel indicates the blue(-)/red(+) color scale.
FIG. 1: (Left panel): Wiener- filtered E-mode polarization measured by SPTpol at 150 GHz. (Center panel): Wiener- ltered CMB lensing potential inferred from CIB fluctuations measured by Herschel at 500 μm. (Right panel): Gravitational lensing B-mode estimate synthesized using Eq. (1). The lower left corner of each panel indicates the blue(-)/red(+) color scale.
Gravitational lensing of the cosmic microwave background generates a curl pattern in the observed polarization. This "B-mode" signal provides a measure of the projected mass distribution over the entire observable Universe and also acts as a contaminant for the measurement of primordial gravity-wave signals. In this letter we present the first detection of gravitational lensing B modes, using first-season data from the polarization-sensitive receiver on the South Pole Telescope (SPTpol). We construct a template for the lensing B-mode signal by combining E-mode polarization measured by SPTpol with estimates of the lensing potential from a Herschel-SPIRE map of the cosmic infrared background. We compare this template to the B modes measured directly by SPTpol, finding a non-zero correlation at 7.7 sigma significance. The correlation has an amplitude and scale-dependence consistent with theoretical expectations, is robust with respect to analysis choices, and constitutes the first measurement of a powerful cosmological observable.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Bradford A. Benson; John E. Carlstrom; Clarence L. Chang; Thomas M. Crawford; Stephen Hoover; Jared Mehl; Stephan S. Meyer; Stephen Padin; Kathryn K. Schaffer
KICP Students: Lindsey E. Bleem; Abigail T. Crites; Tyler Natoli; Kyle Story
Scientific projects: South Pole Telescope (SPT)
 
Congratulations to Dr. Abigail Crites!
August 30, 2013
Dr. Abigail Crites
Dr. Abigail Crites
Congratulations to Abigail Crites for successfully defending her PhD dissertation on "A Measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization with SPTpol."

Abigail has received a KISS Postdoctoral Fellowship at Caltech.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom
KICP Students: Abigail T. Crites
Scientific projects: South Pole Telescope (SPT)
 
Congratulations to Dr. Alissa Bans!
September 26, 2013
Dr. Alissa Bans
Dr. Alissa Bans
Congratulations to Alissa Bans for successfully defending her PhD dissertation on "Large-scale Magnetic Fields in Protoplanetary Disks."

Alissa has received a postdoctoral fellowship at the Adler Planetarium.

Related Links:
KICP Students: Alissa Bans
 
Fred Kavli Friend and Benefactor of the KICP, 1927-2013
November 22, 2013
Fred Kavli with KICP faculty
Fred Kavli with KICP faculty
Fred Kavli was a powerful voice for the power of basic research to advance humankind and a dear friend of the KICP. His vision, passion and enthusiasm led to the creation and subsequent nurturing of the current family of seventeen Kavli Institutes. As we approach our 10th anniversary, we are very proud to be the third Kavli Institute established. We will miss Fred but have fond memories of our many interactions with him, especially his visits to Chicago and our Institute.

Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom; Sean M. Carroll; James W. Cronin; Wayne Hu; Andrey V. Kravtsov; Stephan S. Meyer; Angela V. Olinto; Simon P. Swordy; Michael S. Turner; Monica Valluri; Bruce D. Winstein
 
A peek at the the 4th floor of the William Eckhardt Research Center building
November 26, 2013
A peek at the the 4th floor of the William Eckhardt Research Center building
Slide show
The KICP's new home on the 4th floor of the William Eckhardt Research Center (WERC) as seen on November 8,2013.

Read more >>

Related Links:
KICP Members: Michael S. Turner
 
Congratulations to Angela Olinto!
December 6, 2013
Congratulations to Angela Olinto!
Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to announce that effective 1 January 2014, Angela Olinto will be the Homer J. Livingston Professor. This appointment is in recognition of Angela's contributions to scholarship, teaching, and the intellectual community of the University.

Please join me in congratulating Angela!

Rocky Kolb
Dean of the Physical Sciences

Related Links:
KICP Members: Edward W. Kolb; Angela V. Olinto