Astrophysics Colloquium

KIPAC co-hosts the Astrophysics Colloquium, held both at campus and SLAC at 11 a.m. on Thursdays.  The location can be found on our events calendar.  All interested parties are welcome to attend, and food is served.  

Please contact Becky CanningElisabeth Krause, Mattia di MauroIrina Zhuravleva or Jonathan Zrake for more information.

Mid-band Atomic Gravitational Wave Interferometric Sensor (MAGIS)

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Location

Campus, PAB 102/103

Speaker
Peter Graham and Jason Hogan (Stanford Physics)

We will discuss the potential science reach and technical feasibility of gravitational wave detectors based on precision atomic sensors.  Taking advantage of features used by the best atomic clocks in the world combined with established techniques of matter wave interferometry, a pair of atomic sensors using laser cooled strontium can achieve scientifically interesting gravitational wave strain sensitivities in a frequency band between the LISA and LIGO detectors, roughly 30 mHz to 10 Hz (the

CANCELLED: The Star-Formation History of the Universe revealed by gamma rays

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Location

Campus, PAB 102/103

Speaker
Marco Ajello (Clemson University)

The light emitted by all galaxies across the history of the Universe is encoded in the intensity of the extragalactic background light (EBL), the diffuse cosmic radiation field at ultraviolet, optical, and infrared wavelengths. The EBL is a source of opacity for high-energy γ rays via the photon-photon interaction (γγ • e+e−), leaving a characteristic attenuation imprint in the spectra of distant γ-ray sources.

Black holes, neutron stars and the birth of gravitational wave astronomy

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Location

SLAC, Kavli 3rd Floor Conf. Room

Speaker
Laura Cadonati (Georgia Tech)

Gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time produced by catastrophic astrophysical events, are arguably the most elusive prediction of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, so feeble that Einstein himself thought their detection would be impossible.

Is the Universe lop-sided?

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Location

SLAC, Kavli 3rd Floor Conf. Room

Speaker
Douglas Scott (University of British Columbia)

Since the standard cosmological model is such a good fit to the cosmic microwave background anisotropy data, a great deal of attention has focused on hints of "physics beyond the standard model".  One particular large-scal

How to learn from cosmological data

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Location

Campus, PAB 102/103

Speaker
Benjamin Wandelt (Flatiron Institute, NYC; Sorbonne University; and Princeton University)

The mysteries of the cosmic beginning, gravitational clustering, and cosmic acceleration persist. How can we distill relevant cosmological information from the next generation of data sets? Taking examples from the cosmic microwave background, large scale structure, and supernova cosmology, I will discuss inference strategies, artificial intelligence, and computational approaches that promise to extract more information from current and upcoming data sets.

The Large Millimeter Telescope - early science and future opportunities

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Location

Campus, PAB 102/103

Speaker
David Hughes (INAOE)

The Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) Alfonso Serrano is a 50-m diameter single-dish millimeter-wavelength telescope, optimized to conduct scientific observations at frequencies between ~70 and 280 GHz. The LMT is constructed on the summit of Sierra Negra at an altitude of 4600m in the Mexican state of Puebla.

Uncovering Massive Galaxy Protoclusters in the Early Universe with the South Pole Telescope

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Location

Campus, PAB 102/103

Speaker
Scott Chapman (Dalhousie University)

The sub-millimeter galaxy (SMG) population represent the most intense stellar nurseries in the Universe. Their high star formation rates of 200-2000 Msun/yr (compared to the Milky Way’s 1 Msun/yr) pose a unique challenge for cosmological simulations of how galaxies form and evolve, particularly in the first few billion years after the Big Bang.

Gaia and the Galactic halo

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Location

SLAC, Kavli 3rd Floor Conf. Room

Speaker
Vasily Belokurov (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge and Centre for Computational Astrophysics, New York)

In this talk, the Gaia data is used to study the properties of the Milky Way stellar halo. I will present new constraints on the halo spin, the halo accretion history, measurements of the tangential motion of the largest halo substructures such as the Sgr stream and the Monoceros Ring, the detection of multiple new streams in the Solar neighbourhood as well as the discovery of new faint satellites. All of this with the Gaia DR1. Imagine what you will be able to do with the Gaia DR2 in less than one month.

Searches for planets around evolved stars, stellar remnants, and in the radio domain

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Location

Campus, PAB 102/103

Speaker
Alex Wolszczan (Penn State)

Radial velocity discoveries of planets around giant stars give us access to information on planetary systems orbiting stars more massive than the Sun, and their fates, as they evolve together with their aging parents. Planetary mass bodies around neutron stars tell as about extremes of planet formation and evolution. Detection of radio emission from exoplanets allows a direct measurement of their magnetic fields, and hence the assessment of their habitability.

The Milky Way – evidence for Seyfert activity in the recent past

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Location

Campus, PAB 102/103

Speaker
Joss Bland-Hawthorn (Sydney Institute for Astronomy)

The Galaxy's supermassive black hole is a hundred times closer than any other massive singularity. It is surrounded by a highly unstable gas disk so why is the black hole so peaceful at the present time? This mystery has led to a flurry of models in order to explain why Sgr A* is radiating far below (1 part in 108) the Eddington accretion limit. But has this always been so?

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