Meeting of Astrophysics Students at Stanford (MASS)

Time and location TBD.

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MASS is a forum for graduate students in astronomy and astrophysics to discuss important ideas which nevertheless tend to be absent from classes, colloquia, and tea talks. It is intended to provide a crash course in the theoretical, observational, and experimental aspects of many areas of astrophysics and an informal setting in which to discuss our own work. Undergrads and non-astro types are welcome to join. Postdocs and faculty are also welcome; however, the content of the meetings will be aimed at students who are learning the methods of astronomy and astrophysics for the first time.

Cosmology from Sunyaev-Zeldovich Cluster Abundance

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Chun-Hao To

The abundance of galaxy clusters is a powerful cosmological probe since it depends both on the expansion history of the Universe and the growth of density fluctuations. In recent years, cosmological constraints from cluster abundance have been advanced significantly from clusters identified in X-ray, optical and millimeter wavelengths.

Cosmic Inflation

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Cyndia Yu

Inflation is the idea that the universe underwent a period of accelerating expansion. It is remarkable conjecture that the primordial fluctuations seen in the cosmic microwave background were generated in the first 10^-34 seconds of the universe and expanded from the microscopic to macroscopic, superhorizon scales.

Galaxy Intrinsic Alignments

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Joe DeRose

The shapes of galaxies provide key insights into the physics of our universe. Astrophysicists have long been interested in measuring the precise shapes of galaxies in order to understand their formation mechanisms.

LSST CCD Testing and Optimization

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Adam Snyder

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is a 8-meter diameter, wide-field survey telescope under construction in Chile, which will perform a 10-year optical and near-infrared survey using a 3.2 giga-pixel camera.  In order to achieve the desired read-out speed of 2 seconds, the LSST camera focal plane will be heavily segmented, consist of 189 4Kx4K charge-coupled devices, or CCDs.  The CCDs need to be properly optimized in order to meet the LSST specifications for electro-optical propertie

Background Radiation Across Wavelengths

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Nick Kokron

The FIRAS instrument aboard the COBE satellite provided exquisite measurements of the spectrum of average background radiation at microwave wavelengths. Going beyond the microwave, studying the monopole of cosmic background radiation across the whole electromagnetic spectrum provides detailed  information about all sources of radiation in the Universe.

Ultra-Light Scalar Field Dark Matter

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Ethan Nadler

ΛCDM cosmology is remarkably consistent with observations of the Universe on large scales. However, neither direct nor indirect detection experiments have yet found convincing evidence for weakly interacting cold dark matter particles; in addition, there are possible tensions between predictions derived from cold dark matter simulations and cosmological observations in the dwarf galaxy regime.

The History of the Decline and Fall of Little h

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Dongwoo Chung

For over four decades, the dimensionless Hubble constant (or little h) has been a constant presence in distances, times, masses, and luminosities for cosmologists and extragalactic astrophysicists, baffling the uninitiated to no end about the interpretation of these values. But one theorist dared to submit a paper to Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia and say ’This far, and no farther!’ In this talk, we review Darren Croton's 2013 paper (arXiv:1308.4150), which helps newcomers survive (and hopefully outlive) the tyranny of little h.

Annual Review discussion: Weak Lensing for Precision Cosmology by Rachel Mandelbaum

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Sean McLaughlin

I will be covering the above annual review on weak lensing. I will begin by covering the basics of weak lensing which I really should've learned by now but haven't. I will then cover the slew of problems and biases that can arise in the measurement of weak lensing that this paper covers. It will be a fantastic deep dive into a topic we often hear about but many of us don't deal with much!

https://arxiv.org/abs/1710.03235

 

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