Events, 2011
PFC3 Collaboration Meeting
September 26, 2011 | 9:00 AM | LASR conference room | Workshop
PFC3 Collaboration Meeting
PFC holds a kick off meeting with 40 co-investigators, key collaborators, executive committee members and KICP Fellows attending. The purpose of the all-day meeting was to get the Pushing Cosmology to the Edge PFC off to a quick start.

Meeting agenda:
8:00AM - 8:45AM
8:45AM - 9:45AM
Welcome: Michael Turner and John E. Carlstrom
9:45AM - 10:10AM
Conferences, Workshops, and Visitors: Angela Olinto and Lian-Tao Wang
10:10AM - 10:35AM
10:35AM - 11:00AM
Education, Outreach, and Diversity: Daniel Holz and Randall Landsberg
11:00AM - 11:25AM
Fellows: Daniel Holz and Stephan Meyer
11:25AM - 11:50AM
Detector Development: Paolo Privitera
11:50AM - 12:15PM
Dark Energy: Joshua Frieman and Wayne Hu
12:15PM - 1:30PM
1:30PM - 1:55PM
Dark Matter: Juan Collar and Edward Kolb
1:55PM - 2:20PM
Inflation: John Carlstrom and Scott Dodelson
2:20PM - 2:45PM
Computational Cosmology: Andrey Kravtsov
2:45PM - 3:15PM
3:15PM - 4:30PM
MA Break-out groups
4:30PM - 6:00

Florin Ionita: "A Study of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Ray Composition and Hadronic Interactions with Data from the Pierre Auger Observatory"
October 20, 2011 | 2:00 PM | ACC 211 | PhD Thesis Defense
Florin Ionita: "A Study of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Ray Composition and Hadronic Interactions with Data from the Pierre Auger Observatory"
PhD Thesis Defense
PhD. Committee: Stephan Meyer, Jeffrey Harvey, Mark Oreglia, Angela Olinto

Thesis Abstract: Ultra-high energy cosmic rays are particles of enormous energy - greater than 1018 eV - reaching Earth from still mysterious sources. In this thesis, we analyze data from the Pierre Auger Observatory, a giant cosmic ray detector located in Argentina, to derive information on the mass of ultra-high energy cosmic rays and on their hadronic interaction properties. The data show a change of cosmic ray mass composition as a function of energy. We perform a measurement of the proton-air inelastic cross section, yielding
σinelp-air = 501+24-23 (stat) +30-35 (syst) +30-32 (composition) mb,
at an equivalent energy of 57 TeV in the center of mass of a proton-proton collision - a range yet inaccessible to particle accelerators. The measured cross section is in good agreement with predictions from hadronic interaction models.

KICP at GLPA Conference: Randall H. Landsberg, Tom Plagge, Mark SubbaRao, Fredrick W. High, "The Hunt for Dark Energy"
October 20, 2011 | 3:30 PM | Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College, in Champaign, IL | Talk
KICP at GLPA Conference: Randall H. Landsberg, Tom Plagge, Mark SubbaRao, Fredrick W. High, "The Hunt for Dark Energy"
Dark Energy dominating the composition of the Universe (72%) has become an accepted story. However, no one knows what this strange stuff is, as it is really different then anything that we are familiar with. Join us for an insider's view of on going experiments that seek to characterize Dark Energy. Learn the gritty and amazing details of a multipronged approach to get a handle on this weird stuff and take away visuals, stories, and science that you can use back at your home institution.

EFI Colloquium: Andrey Kravtsov, "The chemistry of galaxy formation"
November 7, 2011 | 4:15 PM | LASR conference room | Talk
EFI Colloquium: Andrey Kravtsov, "The chemistry of galaxy formation"
I will discuss the current state of modeling galaxy formation in cosmological context of LCDM model and review both success and challenges of such modeling. Recent progress shows that we are quite close to understanding the main features of galaxy formation and origin of observed properties of galaxies, such morphology, baryon and dark matter connection, etc. I will argue that recent modeling results indicate that correct modeling of galaxy formation requires the right "chemistry" - a non-trivial mix of nonlinear processes - to be treated correctly. To this end, I will present a novel model of star formation based on non-equilibrium treatment of molecular hydrogen in self-consistent cosmological simulations of galaxy formation, including effects ofself-shielding and shielding by dust. The model predicts strong dependence of the global Kennicutt-Schmidt star formation relation on the metallicity of the interstellar medium of galaxies (and a weaker dependence on the interstellar UV field) and can explain recent results indicating inefficient star formation in high-redshift Damped Lyman alpha galaxies at z~3. General considerations and some preliminary simulation results indicate that low efficiency of star formation at high redshifts can have significant implications for galaxy formation and may help resolve many of the main problems and puzzles of galaxy formation within hierarchical CDM scenario. I will also present ongoing efforts to understand the mechanisms which can make stellar feedback efficient with globally inefficient star formation.

Fall 2011 Postdocs Symposium
December 8, 2011 | 2:00 PM | LASR conference room | Postdocs Symposium
Postdocs Symposium
Schedule (20 + 5 minute talks):
2:00 - 2:15
Coffee and cookies
2:15 - 2:40
Elise Jennings: "Testing LCDM using the large scale structure of the Universe"
2:40 - 3:05
Ali Vanderveld: "Testing the smooth dark energy paradigm with weak lensing"
3:05 - 3:30
Reina Reyes: "Disk galaxy masses: constraints on DM and stellar mass content from galaxy kinematics and weak lensing"
3:30 - 3:50
3:50 - 4:15
Oscar Agertz: "Stellar feedback in cosmological simulations"
4:15 - 4:40
Andrew McCann: "The First VHE Gamma-ray Pulsar"
4:40 -

Astronomy Conversation @ Adler Planetarium
December 14, 2011 | 12:00 PM | Adler Planetarium | Event
Astronomy Conversation @ Adler Planetarium
Tom Crawford will give a special KICP Astronomy Conversation in honor of the Centennial of man's arrival at the South Pole Roald Amundsen and his team of 5 and 16 dogs reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911.

Up!: Thrust, Buoyancy, and Drag, Yerkes Winter Institute
December 27 - 29, 2011 | Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI | Yerkes Institute
Up!: Thrust, Buoyancy, and Drag, Yerkes Winter Institute
Yerkes Institute
Photo Gallery
The 2011 Yerkes Winter institute focused on things that float and fly: rockets and balloons. The students found scaling relations in order estimate the answer to questions such as:
  • How many helium balloons would it take to lift a Space Shuttle?
  • How much pressure is required to launch a pressurized rocket into the Jet Stream?
  • At what airspeed does drag become important for a rocket?
The students gained first-hand experience in the art/science of figuring out which assumptions are appropriate when making approximations.

Instructors: Alissa Bans, Nicole Fields, Walter Glogowski, Sean Johnson, Christopher Kelso, Randy Landsberg, Amol Upadhye.