What's New in 2013


December 11-12

MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen

  • 12/11: München Hbf (14:16)-Göttingen (17:54)
  • 12/12: Göttingen (17:02)-Nürnberg Hbf (19:24); Nürnberg Hbf (19:28)-München Hbf (20:45)

December 5-6


  • 12/5: MUC(9:00)-TXL(10:15); shuttle at 11:30 (terminal 8)
  • 12/6: shuttle at 9:00; TXL(13:15)-MUC(14:25)

November 20-27

19th International Symposium on Particles, Strings and Cosmology (PASCOS 2013), Taipei, Taiwan

November 15-19

Public lecture on the cosmic microwave background, Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU), Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan

November 5-7

Colloquium at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa

October 27-29

  • 10/27: MUC(12:00)-MAD(14:50)
  • 10/28: PhD dissertation defence by German Arturo Gomez Vargas
  • 10/28: MAD(15:50)-MUC(18:25)

October 14-18

"The Return of de Sitter II" Workshop, MPA, Germany

September 30

Congratulations again to the South Pole Telescope (SPT) team on the first detection of B-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background due to lensing!

September 25-27

"Anisotropic Universe: from microwaves to ultra high energies," GRAPPA, University of Amsterdam, The Natherlands 

September 8-12

"LSST@Europe: The Path to Science" Meeting, IoA Cambridge, UK

  • 9/8: MUC(16:35)-STN(17:25)
  • 9/9: Give a talk on "The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment" (14:30-15:00)
    • Abstract: The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) will be the first, blind, spectroscopic survey of emission-line galaxies. It will outfit 10-m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) in McDonald Observatory in West Texas with a new, massive Integral Field Unit Spectrograph called VIRUS. We plan to have about 33k fibers filling 22 arc-minute field-of-view of the upgraded HET, which will be used for a blind spectroscopic survey of Lyman-alpha lines. The primary science goal of HETDEX is to detect and use about 800k Lyman-alpha-emitting galaxies to measure the angular diameter distances and expansion rates of the universe from z=1.9 to 3.5. We expect to detect the effect of dark energy on the expansion rate directly at z=2, even if dark energy is a cosmological constant. As such, HETDEX will test whether dark energy evolves with time with unprecedented precision. In this talk, we describe the mission and expected outcome. The full HETDEX survey is expected to begin in 2014. 
  • 9/12: STN(13:15)-MUC(16:05)

August 5-9

Lorentz Center Conference "New Challenges for Early Universe Cosmologists," Leiden, The Netherlands

July 23-27


July 15

Münchner Physik Kolloquium on "Critical Tests of Theory of the Early Universe using the Cosmic Microwave Background

Congratulations to Prof. Slava Mukhanov and Prof. Alexei Starobinsky for their well-deserved Gruber Prize in Cosmology !

July 1-6

International School of Physics Enrico Fermi on "New Horizons for Observational Cosmology", Varenna, Lake Como, Italy

  • 6/30: MUC(11:50)-MXP(12:55)
  • 7/6: MXP(17:10)-MUC(18:20)

May 31-June 17


  • 5/31-6/1: MUC(11:00)-FRA-KIX(7:30)
  • 6/9: HND(13:20)-OKA(16:00)
  • 6/10-14: International Conference on "Cosmic Microwave Background," Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Japan
  • 6/10: Give a talk on "Polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background: Toward an Observational Proof of Cosmic Inflation" (40 minutes)
    • Abstract: Statistical properties of the observed fluctuations of temperature and polarization anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background are remarkably consistent with the basic predictions of cosmic inflation driven by a single energy component. The observed fluctuations are Gaussian and adiabatic, and the strength of fluctuations weakly depends on spatial scales. The WMAP experiment has confirmed these predictions with precision, and the Planck experiment has further tightened the limits on deviations from Gaussianity and adiabaticity of fluctuations. So, has inflation really happened? We do not know yet. A definitive observational proof of inflation must come from a convincing detection of signatures of nearly-scale-invariant primordial gravitational waves generated during inflation. The so-called B-mode polarization of the cosmic microwave background is the most promising method known to date to detect such gravitational waves. In this presentation, we first briefly comment on a comparison and consistency between the WMAP and Planck data, and then review the physics of E- and B-mode polarization of the cosmic microwave background. We then discuss how to measure these signals in the data in the presence of Galactic foreground and gravitational lensing. A simple analysis shows that it is possible to detect a faint B-mode signal at the level of the tensor-to-scalar ratio of 0.001, i.e., two orders of magnitude below the current limit set by the temperature anisotropy data. This is likely the smallest tensor-to-scalar ratio we would ever reach using the cosmic microwave background. Detection of nearly scale-invariant B-modes at this level or above provides a definitive proof of inflation happening at "high-scales," i.e., energy scales close to a grand unification scale, 10^{16} GeV.
  • 6/13: Public lecture on "Frontiers in Cosmology" (45 minutes)
    • Abstract: Over the last 10 years, our understanding of the Universe has advanced tremendously thanks to powerful theory and observations. We now know how old our Universe is, and how much matter and energy there is in the Universe, quite accurately. However, the more we learn about the Universe, the more challenges we seem to face: recent observations clearly indicate that we do not understand 95 percent of energy/matter in the Universe today! How about the history of the Universe? How much do we know about the Universe when it was very young - perhaps as young as a tiny fraction of a second old? Powerful development in theory and observations of cosmology has finally made it possible to peer into the epoch before the Big Bang - the period called Cosmic Inflation. How can we possibly "see" such an early epoch? It is often said that we are living in the Golden Age of Cosmology, but at the same time we are living in an extraordinarily challenging moment for Cosmology. What is the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy? What powered the Big Bang? In this lecture I will review the outstanding questions and recent developments -Frontiers in Cosmology. 
  • 6/16: OKA(12:45)-NRT(15:20)
  • 6/17: NRT(12:15)-MUC(17:25)

May 13,14

HETDEX Collaboration Meeting in Potsdam, Germany

  • 5/13: MUC(6:50)-TXL(7:55)
  • 5/14: TXL(17:45)-MUC(19:00)

April 28-May 9

Austin, Texas

  • 4/28: LAX(14:25)-AUS(19:15)
  • 4/29: PhD defense of Jonathan Ganc [13:00]
  • 5/6: 2nd-year exam of Inh Jee [15:00]
  • 5/9-10: AUS(16:30)-IAD-MUC(12:25)

March 31-April 28

A long-term program on "Primordial Cosmology" at KITP, Santa Barbara, CA. [Talks available here.]

March 9-22

In Japan

March 4-6

March 5: Colloquium at SISSA, Trieste, Italy (14:00)

  • 3/4: MUC(11:15)-TRS(12:25)
  • 3/6: TRS(17:00)-MUC(18:15)

February 28-March 2

March 1: Colloquium at Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (14:00)

  • 2/28: MUC(17:05)-BRU(18:30)
  • 3/2: BRU(11:05)-MUC(12:25)

February 25-26

February 25: Colloquium at University of Geneva, Switzerland (17:00)

  • 2/25: MUC(9:05)-GVA(10:20)
  • 2/26: GVA(11:10)-MUC(12:25)

January 29-February 14

UK "Grand Tour" :)

January 21-25

IMPRS lectures on Cosmic Microwave Background [3 hours per day x 5 days]. Lecture notes are available here.

January 17

Give a colloquium at ESO on "Critical Tests of Theory of the Early Universe using the Cosmic Microwave Background"

January 9-11

AAS Meeting, Long Beach, California

  • 1/9: MUC(15:50)->LAX(19:20)
  • 1/10: Lancelot Berkeley Prize lecture on "Results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)"(4:30-5:20pm)
    • Abstract: The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the fossil light of the Big Bang, is the oldest light that one can ever hope to observe in our Universe. The CMB provides us with a direct image of the Universe when it was still an "infant" - 380,000 years old. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has mapped the microwave sky in five frequency bands for nine years since 2001, creating a full-sky CMB map with the unprecedented precision. The WMAP data have enabled us to obtain a wealth of cosmological information, such as the composition, age, geometry, and history of the Universe. Yet, can we go further and learn about the primordial universe, when it was much younger than 380,000 years old, perhaps as young as a tiny fraction of a second? If so, this gives us a hope to test competing theories about the origin of the Universe at ultra high energies. In this talk, we will review the physics of CMB and the WMAP mission, present the basic results from nine years of observations, and discuss their cosmological implications.
  • 1/10-11: LAX(21:15)->MUC(17:35) 
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