Research Highlights

May 2, 2016 | Where are they now? An Interview with KIPAC alum Peter den Hartog

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.

Apr 18, 2016 | First Baby Photos of an Infant Planet

For the first time we've managed to take a baby picture of a planet still in the process of growing.  Our team was able to image this so-called “proto"-planet with the Magellan telescope in Chile, taking advantage of the high-speed adaptive optics of the telescope to correct for blurring by the Earth's atmosphere.  This allowed us to take a super high-resolution image of the system and, after subtracting the light from the central star, isolate light coming directly from the protoplanet. More specifically, we isolated light emitted by ultra-hot hydrogen gas falling onto the protoplanet, which is named (systematically, if not super-creatively) LkCa 15 b after its star, LkCa 15 A.

Apr 13, 2016 | Directly Imaging Exoplanets or: Seeing Alien Worlds

Professor Bruce Macintosh of KIPAC is the primary protagonist of “In Search of Ancient Jupiters,” an excellent and compelling piece by Lee Billings in the Aug 2015 edition of the popular science magazine Scientific American (SciAm), and in the article he gives a very human perspective on the race to find and see this class of exoplanets directly vs. using the indirect means that most recent methods have focused on.

Apr 13, 2016 | Where are they now? Yvonne Edmonds

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. Next up is Yvonne Edmonds, who spent her time at KIPAC searching for signs of dark matter in the data gathered by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (FGST).

Apr 3, 2016 | Up above the Earth so high: Astrophysics at 44,000 feet!

By Rebecca Canning and Norbert Werner

Apr 3, 2016 | Not Your Typical Winter Break: Antarctic Working "Holiday" Awaits KIPAC Undergrad

By Lori Ann White


Above: Albert sporting a shirt that contains all the particles of the current Standard Model of particle physics (which is now known to be incomplete because it misses dark matter, for one.) (Photo courtesy Albert Wandui.)

Nov 24, 2015 | The Journey to the Bottom of the World

By Val Monticue

Nov 22, 2015 | Where are they now? -- An Interview with KIPAC alumna Jodi Cooley

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.

Nov 5, 2015 | Extreme galaxies flinging out the highest energy photons

Gamma-ray blazars (also known as BL Lac objects) are among the most extreme galaxies, whipping up and then flinging out into intergalactic space particles at energies far beyond those attainable by the most powerful particle accelerators on Earth. The study of the variable gamma-ray emission from these energetic galaxies is possible through observation with Cherenkov light telescopes such as the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (or VERITAS, described further in the post). VERITAS recently detected a gamma-ray flare from the galaxy 1ES 1727+502 and, notably, the VERITAS observations of this galaxy in a bright state were made possible through the recent development of an innovative observing setup which enables ground-based gamma-ray telescopes to observe during bright moonlight.

Oct 28, 2015 | Taking the Polar Plunge: Engineer Turned Teacher Heads to South Pole for BICEP3

Meet Val Monticue, a systems engineer turned physics teacher. Val has spent the last two summers at Stanford University through Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME), a nonprofit, industry-education partnership that gives teachers the opportunity to gain real-world experience in various STEM disciplines through summer fellowships with host companies and universities. Val spent her summers working with KIPAC researchers building and testing the instruments for the BICEP3, which studies the cosmic microwave background radiation, light that's left over from the earliest days of the universe, from its location at the South Pole (and builds on the success of the BICEP2 project). Monticue has had a hankering to go to the South Pole since her undergraduate days at Harvey Mudd College in southern California, but she thought her contribution to BICEP3 would start and end in the lab of Chao-Lin Kuo, the KIPAC faculty member who is one of the principal investigators of the BICEP collaboration.

Oct 11, 2015 | Invasion of the Interns! SULI Students Do Cutting-edge Science at KIPAC

We recently caught up with five of the undergraduate physics students who spent their summer at KIPAC through the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program. SULI, sponsored by the Department of Energy, gives talented undergraduates the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research at a DOE laboratory; the summer sessions are 10 weeks long. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory served as the host lab and the students were housed on the Stanford University campus. Their research could take place in either location.

Jun 22, 2015 | Where are they now? An Interview with KIPAC alum Aurelien Bouvier

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.