Big Questions in Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology

To celebrate KIPAC's 10th anniversary, we invited some of the people leading the way in our main areas of research to spend a week with us, looking back at what we've learned in the last 10 years and ahead to the challenges we'll face in the next 10 years, as we all try and find answers to the big questions of particle astrophysics and cosmology.

You can catch up on what happened here, at the KIPAC@10 conference blog, as KIPAC's researchers post some of their recollections from the meeting.

  1. Tuesday morning, September 3rd, 2013:  Where Did That Come From? Particle acceleration in the Universe

  2. Tuesday afternoon, September 3rd, 2013:  What is the Dark Matter?

  3. Wednesday morning, September 4th, 2013:  Whatever Next? Compact objects as physics laboratories

  4. Wednesday afternoon, September 4th, 2013:  How Did We Get Here? Galaxy evolution across cosmic time

  5. Thursday morning, September 5th, 2013:  How Will We Know What We Know? Inference in the era of Big Data

  6. Friday morning, September 6th, 2013:  What's the Dark Energy? Cosmic accelerometry and plausible hypotheses

  7. Friday afternoon, September 6th, 2013:  Is This All There Is? Understanding inflation in precision cosmology


All the talks are now available online at the KIPAC youtube channel.

During the meeting itself, you could have followed what was happening on Twitter via the hashtag #KIPAC10 - here's a storified version of the feed.

Where did that come from? Particle Acceleration in the Universe

Time Speaker Title
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Justin Vandenbroucke Welcome/Introduction
9:05 Angela Olinto Where did UHECRs come from?
9:25 Ke Fang Can young neutron stars be the source of Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Rays?
9:50 Neil Gehrels Space Gamma Ray Observations as Probes of Particle Acceleration
10:10 Alexander Tchekhovskoy What sets jet power in black hole accretion systems?
10:30 Coffee Break
11:00 James Drake Magnetic Reconnection and particle acceleration
11:25 Alex Lazarian Acceleration of particles via magnetic reconnection
11:50 Dmitri Uzdensky Particle Acceleration and Radiation in Astrophysical Magnetic Reconnection
12:10 Stefan Funk (Facilitator)

Discussion: which questions can we expect to answer in the next 10 years?

What do we need to do now (in observation, experimentation, simulation, theory) to answer them?

12:30 Lunch


What is Dark Matter?

Time Speaker Title
2:00 Jodi Cooley Introduction
2:05 Peter Redl Direct Detection of Dark Matter
2:35 Bruno Serfass Modulation Analysis or CDMS
2:55 David Salek Dark Matter Searches at the LHC
3:25 Jodi Cooley Summary/Discussions
3:35 Break
4:00 Alex Drlica-Wagner Introduction
4:05 Michael Peskin Theory
4:35 Stefan Funk Indirect Detection
5:05 Yao-Yuan Mao The Galactic DM Velocity Distribution
5:15 Oliver Hahn Dark Matter Simulations
5:25 Alex Drlica-Wagner Summary/Discussion
6:00 Reception at The Fred Kavli Building


Whatever next? Compact objects’ continuing application as physics laboratories

Time Speaker Title
8:00  Breakfast
9:00 Andrew Steiner How Neutron Star Interiors Will Answer Questions About Dense Matter
9:30 Jon Arons Neutron Star Exteriors
10:00 Rosalba Perna Magnetars: Nature at its Extreme
10:15 Roger Romani Fermi pulsars: in hand and in the offing
10:30 Break
11:00 John Tomsick NuSTAR observations of accreting black holes and neutron stars
11:15 Bob Wagoner QPOs and Diskoseismology Confront Black Hole Spin
11:30 Jim Cordes The Widefield Future of Compact Objects and Transients
12:00 Jocelyn Read GWs and LIGO
12:15 - 12:45 Alice Harding Summary and Discussion
12:45 Lunch


How did we get here? Structure formation and galaxy evolution throughout cosmic time

Time Speaker Title
2:00 Peter Behroozi and John Wise Introduction
2:10 Dan Stark Galaxy Formation in the Reionization Era
2:35 Mariska Kriek Piecing together galaxy growth from z~2 to the present-day
3:00 Yu Lu Galaxy formation in preheated IGM
3:20 Break
3:50 Jeff Scargle Voids in the Galaxy Distribution
4:10 Norbert Werner Cold gas in giant elliptical galaxies and its role in fueling radio-mode AGN feedback
4:30 Aurora Simionescu Living on the edge
4:50 Eliot Quataert Summary and outlook
5:10 Panel Discussion (led and moderated by Quataert)
6:00 Dinner at the Patio in Palo Alto


How will we know what we know? Inference in the era of Big Data

Time Speaker Title
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Phil Marshall Big Welcome
9:25 Dominique Boutigny Big Lessons from Particle Physics
9:50 Stuart Lynn Big Research Groups
10:30 Break
11:00 Risa Wechsler Big Simulations
11:25 John Bloom Big Machine Learning
12:00 David Hogg Big Inference, Discussion
12:30 Lunch


What shall we talk about? Unconference

Time Speaker Title
12:30 Lunch


  • Organisation in auditorium 
  • Meet back in auditorium for session reports
5:30 BBQ at The Fred Kavli Building


What is the Dark Energy? Cosmic accelerometry and plausible hypotheses

Time Speaker Title
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Mustafa Amin Introduction
9:05 Leonard Susskind What's so puzzling about dark energy?
9:35 Ignacy Sawicki Dark energy: An Ever-more Complicated Story
10:00 Adam Mantz Dark Energy from Galaxy Cluster Observations
10:30 Break
11:00 Anja von der Linden Weighing the Giants: Accurate Weak Lensing Mass Measurements for Cosmological Cluster Surveys
11:15 David Rapetti Constraining cosmic growth and expansion with galaxy clusters, the CMB and clustering of galaxies
11:30 Debbie Bard Constraining Dark Energy with Cosmic Shear
12:00 Josh Frieman Summary & Discussions
12:45 Lunch


Is this all there is? Understanding inflation in precision cosmology

Time Speaker Title
2:00 Bill Jones Cosmology from Planck, and the Search for Inflationary B-modes
2:25 Brad Benson Measuring the CMB on Small-Scales: Constraints on Inflation and New Physics
2:50 Enrico Pajer Spectral Distortions of the CMB
3:15 Kendrick Smith Non-Gaussianity in the CMB and large-scale structure
3:40 Break
4:10 Daniel Green Theory review
4:35 Mustafa Amin Reheating After Inflation
5:00 - 5:30 Panel Discussion