Workshops & Events, 2017
Winter 2017 Postdocs Symposium
January 13, 2017 | ERC 401
Breakfast (continental breakfast)
Benjamin Montet - Characterizing Long-Term Stellar Variability with Kepler
Max Malacari - Using the atmosphere as a calorimeter: the atmospheric monitoring program at the Pierre Auger Observatory
break (coffee)
Ritoban Basu Thakur - Tales from the Pole: SPT3G update
Pete Barry - Instrumentation for next generation high z cosmology

C2ST Public Lecture: Edward W. Kolb, "From Quarks to the Cosmos"
February 9, 2017 | Hyatt Regency Chicago

QM2017 Public Lecture in collaboration with C2ST

For the first second of time, long before the emergence of planets, stars, or galaxies, our universe was a hot primordial soup of "elementary" particles like quarks. Encoded in this formless, shapeless quark soup were the imprints of events from an even earlier epoch---the very beginning of the universe. Over the last 12 billion years, the primordial soup has cooled and condensed into the rich cosmic structure we see around us in the universe today. We can learn the nature of the primordial soup by studying relics from the early universe, and we can uncover the ingredients of the soup by cooking up a little bit of it in the laboratory.

Edward W. Kolb
Edward W. Kolb (known to most as Rocky ) is the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics and the College and Dean of the Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago, as well as a member of the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics. In 1983 he was a founding head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group and in 2004 the founding Director of the Particle Astrophysics Center at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.

Kolb is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was the recipient of the 2003 Oersted Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers for notable contributions to the teaching of physics, the 1993 Quantrell Prize for teaching excellence at the University of Chicago, and the 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Graham School of the University of Chicago. His book for the general public, Blind Watchers of the Sky, received the 1996 Emme Award of the American Aeronautical Society.

The field of Rocky's research is the application of elementary-particle physics to the very early Universe. In addition to over 200 scientific papers, he is a co-author of The Early Universe, the standard textbook on particle physics and cosmology.

Kolb's research was recognized by the 2010 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, awarded by the American Astronomical Society and the American Institute for Physics. He holds an honorary degree, Doctor Honoris Causa, from the University of Lyon, France, and was the recipient of the J. Hans D. Jensen Prize of the University of Heidelberg.

He has traveled the world, if not yet the Universe, giving scientific and public lectures. Rocky has been a Harlow Shapley Visiting Lecturer with the American Astronomical Society since 1984. In recent years he has been selected by the American Physical Society and the International Conference on High-Energy Physics to present public lectures in conjunction with international physics meetings. Rocky presented a special public lecture in Salonika Greece as part of the cultural celebration of that city, and he was selected to address the president of Pakistan as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the country. He has been the Oppenheimer lecturer in Los Alamos, and in Athens (Ohio) and Troy (New York) he presented the Graselli Lecture and the Resnick Lecture. He has also presented public lectures at the Royal Society of London, as well as Vienna, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Valencia, Victoria, Montreal, Bonn, Heidelberg, Munich, Karlsruhe, Rome, Toronto, Copenhagen, Turin, Madrid, Bejing, Uppsala, Hamilton, and Vancouver.

Rocky has appeared in several television productions, most recently interviewing Stephen Hawking for the Discovery Channel. He can also be seen in the IMAX film The Cosmic Voyage.

Dr. Kolb's lecture is a geared toward the public, and is a part of Quark Matter 2017, the XXVI international conference on ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions. The conference brings together theoretical and experimental physicists from around the world to discuss new developments in high energy heavy ion physics.

Rocky Kolb and Michael Turner: "How Fermilab changed the course of cosmology"
March 29, 2017 | Fermilab, Ramsey Auditorium
Shortly before the Fermilab Astrophysics group was created in 1983, cosmology was still the search for two numbers -- H_0 and q_0 -- and very much the province of a small band of astronomers known as cosmologists. Fermilab played the leading role in creating -- indeed was the mother church for -- a new approach, one that involved the fusion of modern particle physics and astronomical cosmology. This fusion resulted in the current cosmological paradigm, with its dark matter, dark energy and early epoch of accelerated expansion (inflation). It also changed the cosmological conversation forever and merged the frontiers of particle physics and astrophysics/cosmology. Along the way, Fermilab hosted the first meeting that brought together particle physicists and astronomers (Inner Space/Outer Space), brought Russian physicist Yakov B. Zel'dovich to Batavia for his first and only visit to the U.S., spearheaded the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and its successor the Dark Energy Survey, and trained many leaders of the field today. In this special, extended-length colloquium, the current state of our understanding of the Universe, the big, open questions facing both particle physics and cosmology, and the history of the cosmic frontier at Fermilab will be discussed by its two favorite alums and the two most brilliant scientists of their generation.

Chen He Heinrich, "Lensing Bias to CMB Polarization Measurements of Compensated Isocurvature Perturbations"
June 19, 2017 | ERC 576
Ph.D. Committee members: Daniel Holz, Abigail Vieregg, Liantao Wang.

Thesis Abstract: Compensated isocurvature perturbations (CIPs) are opposite spatial fluctuations in the baryon and dark matter (DM) densities. They arise in the curvaton model and some models of baryogenesis. While the gravitational effects of baryon fluctuations are compensated by those of DM, leaving no observable impacts on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at first order, the baryon fluctuations correlate CMB anisotropies at different multipoles. As a result, CIPs can be reconstructed using quadratic estimators similarly to CMB detection of gravitational lensing. Because of these similarities, however, the CIP estimators are biased with lensing contributions that must be subtracted. In this work, we evaluate these lensing contributions and their impact on the CIP detection threshold due to lensing noise, and assess the prospect of detecting the maximal CIP signal in the curvaton model for a cosmic-variance-limited (CVL) temperature and polarization experiment.

Laura M Mocanu, "Measuring the cosmic microwave background gravitational lensing potential and its power spectrum with SPTpol"
July 21, 2017 | ERC 401
Ph.D. Committee members: Scott Dodelson, Brad Benson, Abigail Vieregg.

"Monica has make many important contributions to the analysis of South Pole Telescope CMB data. For her thesis she has used SPTpol temperature and polarization data to produce the most sensitive CMB lensing reconstruction of the mass distribution in the universe, paving the wave for SPT-BICEP B-mode delensing and other cosmological analysis."
- John Carlstrom, Ph.D. advisor

Thesis Abstract: Weak gravitational lensing by large-scale structure in the universe causes deflections in the paths of cosmic microwave background (CMB) photons. This effect introduces non-Gaussian correlations in the observed CMB temperature and polarization fields. The signature of lensing can be used to reconstruct the projected gravitational lensing potential with a quadratic estimator technique; this provides a measure of the integrated mass distribution out to the surface of last scattering. The power spectrum of the lensing potential encodes information about the geometry of the universe and the growth of structure and can be used to place constraints on the sum of neutrino masses and dark energy. High signal-to-noise mass maps from CMB lensing are also powerful for cross-correlating with other tracers of large-scale structure and for delensing the CMB in search for primordial gravitational waves. In my thesis, I describe a measurement of the CMB gravitational lensing potential and its power spectrum using data from 500 square degrees of sky observed with the polarization-sensitive receiver installed on the South Pole Telescope, SPTpol.

Alessandro Manzotti, "Unveiling the early Universe: delensing the Cosmic Microwave Background with galaxy surveys"
July 24, 2017 | ERC 401
Ph.D. Committee members: Scott Dodelson (Ph.D. advisor), Wayne Hu, Richard G. Kron, Abigail G. Vieregg

"Alessandro led the team that carried out the first 'de-lensing' of the polarization in the cosmic microwave background. Using data from the South Pole Telescope, the team used software to undo what billions of years of propagation through the clumpy universe has done: distorted the pattern of polarization. This first demonstration is the harbinger of what will ultimately become an essential tool in analyses of future SPT CMB-Stage 4 data."
- Scott Dodelson, Ph.D. advisor

Summer School: CMB Detectors and Instrumentation
August 7 - 11, 2017 | Chicago, IL

This 1-week "hands-on" summer school is designed to provide the participants with working knowledge of the detectors and instrumentation used to detect the tiny temperature and polarization anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Early graduate students interested in pursuing a PhD in experimental CMB research methods are particularly encouraged to apply. A feature of the school is hands-on activities to teach students the basics of CMB instrumentation. We expect to have room for approximately 15 students.

Topics will include: superconducting detectors, e.g., transition-edge-sensor (TES) bolometers, kinetic-inductance-detectors (KIDs); detector characterization (responsivity, beams, bands, time constants, polarization calibration); coherent techniques for characterizing mm-wave components; SQUIDs and detector readout; antenna design; and Fourier transform spectroscopy.

The School will be held at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago in the William Eckhardt Research Center (ERC).