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Daniel Holz has received a NSF CAREER award
January 25, 2012
Professor Holz's research focuses on the interplay of general relativity, astrophysics, and cosmology. Recently he has been working on using gravitational waves and gravitational lensing as cosmological probes.
Pizza with Professors
February 22, 2012
Brothers and Sisters4Science Discover the Universe with PFC Scientists!
March 30, 2012
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April 25, 2012
SAIC SPT exhibit; South Pole Telescope assembly by Jason Smith
As part of our ongoing partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), students in an Architecture, interior architecture and designed objects (AAIDO) studio course designed and constructed a portable exhibit about the South Pole Telescope. This installation pays homage to the 100 years of exploration and discovery at the South Pole and to the most recent scientific achievements of SPT.
Visual imagery provides a glimpse into life and research at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Interactive components include a backdrop of the ceremonial South Pole and Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear photo op and a multi-touch table that encourages self-guided exploration of images, videos and data. The first destination for the exhibit is the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC (April 27-29) where Tom Plagge, Tyler Natoli and Kyle Story will represent the SPT science team. Other planned deployments include The World Science Festival Street Fair and special events at SAIC.
Congratulations to Dr. Hao Huan!
April 30, 2012
Hao has received a researcher position at the Teza Technologies.
Congratulations to Dr. Immanuel Buder!
June 9, 2012
Immanuel has received a postdoctoral fellow position at Harvard College Observatory.
Elise Jennings has been awarded a Springer Thesis Prize
June 18, 2012
Simulations of Dark Energy Cosmologies
A major outstanding problem in physics is understanding the nature of the dark energy that is driving the accelerating expansion of the Universe. This thesis makes a significant contribution by demonstrating, for the first time, using state-of-the-art computer simulations, that the interpretation of future galaxy survey measurements is far more subtle than is widely assumed, and that a major revision to our models of these effects is urgently needed. The work contained in the thesis was used by the WiggleZ dark energy survey to measure the growth rate of cosmic structure in 2011 and had a direct impact on the design of the surveys to be conducted by the European Space Agency's Euclid mission, a 650 million euro project to measure dark energy.
Springer Theses Award
Springer Theses is restricted to truly outstanding original work that makes a substantial contribution to research in its field. The author of each thesis accepted into the series will receive a prize of €500. Theses will be published both in print and in Springer's prominent eBook programme, thus becoming accessible to millions of readers worldwide through SpringerLink. The prestige and visibility associated with the prize-winning publication will help to further the career of deserving students.
Stephan S. Meyer and the WMAP team awarded the 2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize
June 20, 2012
2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize with NASA Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) lead Charles Bennett and other colleagues from the team.
The WMAP team used observations of the so-called "echo of the Big Bang," the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, to determine the universe's vital statistics - its age, content, geometry, and origin. This feat in turn has helped transform cosmology itself into a precision science.
Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Kelso!
July 10, 2012
"Recent Results in Dark Matter Direct Detection Experiments."
"Chris' research has been focused on dark matter, and interpretations of data from a number of underground experiments designed to search for it. Particularly exciting has been his work on dark matter interpretations of the signals reported by the CoGeNT, CRESST and DAMA experiments. While we cannot say for certain yet whether these experiments are seeing dark matter particles, Chris' work has certainly helped to make these experiments and their anomalous results a "hot topic" among particle physicists and cosmologists."
- Dan Hooper, PhD advisor
Christopher has received a postdoctoral scholar position at the University of Utah.
Congratulations to Dr. Samuel Leitner!
July 20, 2012
"The Star Formation History of Disk Galaxies & Implications for Simulations."
"In his thesis paper Sam has derived star formation histories of galaxies, which are still forming stars now, using a variety of observations on how star formation rate depends on stellar mass of galaxies as a function of cosmic epoch. Remarkably, the results show that galaxies such as our Milky Way have formed more than 80% of their stars over the last ten billion years of the evolution, and less than 20% during the first three billion years. This result is at variance with most simulations of galaxy formation and may help to explain why simulations generally fail to produce late-type disk galaxies with small bulges. In his paper, Sam has also uncovered a curious discrepancy between the star formation histories of dwarf galaxies derived using the method he used and those deduced from the color-magnitude diagram of stars for nearby dwarfs."
- Andrey Kravtsov, PhD advisor
Samuel has received a Prize Postdoctoral fellow position in the Center for Theory and Computation at the University of Maryland.
Congratulations to Dr. Melanie Simet!
August 3, 2012
"Galaxy cluster center detection methods with weak lensing."
"Melanie has studied weak gravitational lensing caused by galaxy clusters. She led the effort to measure this lensing signal in Stripe 82 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, with results that will help calibrate cluster masses and begin the community on the road to measuring tomography. For her thesis, Melanie studied the important effect that it is difficult to locate the true center of a galaxy cluster. This "mis-ceterning" problem leads to incorrect mass determinations. By using a combination of simulations and data from SDSS, Melanie quantified both the effect and various algorithms proposed to address it."
- Scott Dodelson, PhD advisor
Melanie has received a postdoctoral position at the Carnegie Mellon University.
Christopher Williams has been awarded a 2012 CCAPP Price Prize
August 6, 2012
Dr. Pliny A. and Margaret H. Price Prize in Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics
Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Greer!
October 31, 2012
"Calibrating Optical Richness using Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Observations."
"Chris Greer made critical contributions to the building and deploying of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Array (SZA), an interferometric array of 3.5 meter mm-wave telescopes located at the CARMA site in California. He used the SZA to image the SZ effect for a sample of galaxy clusters selected by their richness in the SDSS maxBCG cluster catalog. His thesis provides the first joint calibration of the SZ and optical mass-observable relation. This work is important for using cluster surveys for constraining cosmology, in particular the nature of dark energy, and it provides the ground work for the upcoming joint analysis of the large South Pole Telescope and Dark Energy Survey data sets."
- John Carlstrom, PhD advisor
Christopher has received a postdoctoral researcher position at Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona.
A new detector is seeking the nature of dark matter
December 19, 2012