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.

Aspects of Unitarity

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Speaker
Jed Thompson

The term “unitarity” gets bandied about a lot in theoretical physics, but although it’s a very simple concept, its physical consequences are often less obvious.  In this talk, we’ll state concretely what we mean by unitarity, and work through how it implies the optical theorem.  We’ll then use the optical theorem to prove the narrowing of the diffraction peak at high energies and the Boltzmann H-theorem.  We will also give a heuristic derivation of the Froissart bound (which limits how quickly cross-sections can grow with energy), and if time permits give a rigorous proof.

Fluid Simulations

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Andrew Eberhardt

From the clouds on Jupiter, to debris disks, to dark matter halos, we are frequently interested in the evolution and behavior of fluids. For decades now simulations have been a tool to investigate the physics of these systems. There are a variety of  generally used computational techniques. I will discuss some of these methods and demonstrate their utility with a set of test problems.

Emulation for ChemCam data analysis

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Claire Hebert

The Mars Rover carries onboard an instrument,  ChemCam, designed to measure the composition of rocks using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). The disaggregation of component elements given these spectra is complicated by so-called matrix effects, which influence the relative height of emission  lines.

Jets and AGN

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Lawrence Peirson

Highly collimated relativistic jets and less collimated outflows are observed to emerge from a wide variety of astrophysical objects. They are seen in proto-stellar systems, , compact objects (like galactic black holes or microquasars, X-ray binary stars and pulsars), and in the nuclei of active galaxies (AGN).  The jets from these varied sources share strong morphological similarities.

Communicating Science

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Ben Garber

Whichever field you work in, the importance of communicating science is unquestionable.  However, we rarely spend our time developing the skills of science communication except when we really need to--when writing a paper or presenting at a conference.  This week, I'll be presenting a summary of the Chicago Guide to Communicating Science, a book that (unsurprisingly) argues clearly and effectively that we should and can work actively to impro

TBD

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Justin Myles

The LSST Active Optics System

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Location

Campus, PAB 214 

Speaker
David Thomas

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 image quality across its 3.5 degree field of view, LSST will use an Active Optics System (AOS) to correct aberrations due to gravity, temperature gradients and other system distortions.

Interferometry and Synthesis Imaging

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Location

Campus, PAB 232

Speaker
Alex Madurowicz

In this talk, I will cover the basic properties of Interferometry and Synthesis Imaging, particularly in regard to large arrays of radio telescopes. By directly measuring the amplitude and phase of the complex visibility for a source in the UV plane, the entire array of telescopes can be combined to act as a singular massive telescope.

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