Research Highlights

May 5, 2015 | The Chunky Suburbs of Galaxy Clusters

An analysis of X-ray observations has provided the clearest picture to date of the size, mass, and matter content of a giant cluster of galaxies. The study also provides the first direct evidence that the multi-million-degree gas in the cluster's outskirts is clumped into enormous clouds.

May 5, 2015 | Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing: New Physics in Core-Collapse Supernovae

Core-collapse supernovae are some of the biggest explosions in the universe - but exactly how the immense amount of energy released is converted into a form we can observe has puzzled astrophysicists for many decades. The Computational Astrophysics Consortium, which includes KIPAC, studies these systems via state-of-the-art hydrodynamic (HD) and magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) simulations, and met in May to discuss their recent results.

May 5, 2015 | Does Galactic Dust Twirl and Shine?

The question of whether we receive microwave radiation from spinning dust grains in our Galaxy has been debated for 15 years. A collaboration including a KIPAC scientist has provided valuable data indicating that the answer is probably yes.

The ARCADE 2 instrument being launched on a high altitude balloon. Getting above the atmosphere is important in an absolute atrophysical microwave measurement.

Apr 30, 2015 | Where have all the magnetic fields disappeared to? -- A new class of blazar flares

For several decades now, astrophysicists have known of the existence of powerful jets of particles and magnetic fields that shoot out at nearly the speed of light (that is, “relativistically”) from the centers of certain “active” galaxies. Scientists have learned that the jets originate in the accretion disks surrounding supermassive black holes at the cores of these galaxies. Relativistic jets are sources of strongly beamed radiation characterized by broad and smooth (or “non-thermal”) spectra, therefore their orientation relative to the observer has dramatic effects on the observed characteristics of the active galaxies. In particular, when one of the jets happens to point towards us, the galaxy in which it originates is called a “blazar”.

Apr 28, 2015 | Flare Activity in the Crab Nebula: the Old Stalwart from 1054 AD Still Hides Some Enigmas

 

By  Jeff Scargle and Roger Blandford

The Crab Nebula, an old solid and reliable friend -- mostly

Apr 25, 2015 | Effects of Local Universe Underdensity On Cosmological Parameter Extraction or: Keeping “Precision Cosmology” on the Straight and Narrow

By  Radek Wojtak

Cosmologists generally assume that we do not sit at any special place in the Universe when extracting properties about our Universe, such as figuring out its expansion history (for which the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded in 2011).

Apr 16, 2015 | Where are they now? -- An Interview with KIPAC alum Justin Vandenbroucke

by Lori Ann White

In the series, "Where are they now?" we check in with KIPAC alumni: where they are now, how they've fared since their days exploring particle astrophysics and cosmology at the Institute, and how their KIPAC experiences have shaped their journeys.

Mar 31, 2015 | KIPAC Alum Jodi Cooley Talks Dark Matter on Popular Show Science Friday

KIPAC alum Jodi Cooley (shown above with one of the detectors from her experiment), an associate professor of physics at Southern Methodist University and principal investigator for the Cryogenic Dark Matter Survey, was on the widely heard show Science Friday on NPR, on March 27.  

Mar 21, 2015 | Where are they now? -- An Interview with KIPAC alum Joshua Lande

by Lori Ann White

In the series, "Where are they now?" we check in with KIPAC alumni: where they are now, how they've fared since their days exploring particle astrophysics and cosmology at the Institute, and how their KIPAC experiences have shaped their journeys.

Mar 21, 2015 | Where the invisible things are: Probing the phase space structure of dark matter

Dark matter is the mysterious substance that makes up about 85% of the mass in our universe. The problem with studying it is that it’s invisible: As far as we have seen so far, it interacts with itself and with “normal” matter (the matter we are made of and interact with every day) only through its gravitational pull, though there are numerous experiments underway that are trying to prove otherwise (see, for example, recent posts in this blog about direct and indirect searches).

Mar 16, 2015 | Newly found "dwarf" galaxies having an outsized impact

(NB: Based on a SLAC NAL press release )

          

Mar 1, 2015 | The Collision of Indirect Dark Matter Signals with the Hard Reality of Merging Galaxy Clusters

By Ken Van Tilburg and Tim Wiser