What's New in 2015


December 14–18

PFS Collaboration Meeting in Marseille

  • 12/14: MUC(15:35)-MRS(17:10)
  • 12/18: MRS(13:10)-MUC(14:50)

November 27–December 13


November 7–14

The Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain. Colloquium on November 12

November 3–5

Universiteit Utrecht

October 22,23

CPTS Sektionssitzung, Berlin

  • 10/22: MUC(10:55)-TXL(12:00)
  • 10/23: TXL(17:00)-MUC(18:10)

October 16

Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

October 2,3

The 1st Physics Seminar in Germany for Japanese Researchers, Fritz-Haber-Institut, Berlin

  • 10/2: MUC(9:10)-TXL(10:15)
  • 10/3: TXL(11:00)-MUC(12:10)

September 28–30

COrE+ Workshop, APC, Paris

September 25–26

University of Sussex

  • 9/25: MUC(9:40)-LGW(10:35)
  • 9/25: Give a talk on “Position-dependent Power Spectrum’’ at 15:30
    • Abstract: How does the large-scale environment affect the growth of the small-scale structure? This seemingly simple question is connected directly to the three-point statistics in cosmology. Mode coupling of large and small scales contains information on non-linear gravitational evolution of cosmic density fluctuations, and the physics of inflation that may generate such a coupling. Despite its importance in cosmology, progress on understanding mode coupling in the large-scale structure of the universe has been slow. In this talk, we present a novel idea called the "position-dependent power spectrum" and the associated "integrated bispectrum" to address the issue of mode coupling. Coupling of large and small scales makes two-point function of density depend on the environment, i.e., the long-wavelength perturbation. Correlating this locally-measured two-point function and the long-wavelength perturbation, we can measure the relevant three-point function without counting triplets, thereby greatly simplifying the analysis of the three-point function. Moreover, theoretical interpretation of these new statistics is straightforward, and can be cast in an elegant formalism called "separate universe picture". We present the basic idea, formulation, and its first application to the real observational data, reporting 7.4 sigma detection of the integrated bispectrum from  SDSS-III BOSS DR11.
  • 9/26: LGW(13:05)-MUC(15:55)

September 18–22

Workshop on “Cosmic Acceleration” at Kavli IPMU

September 11–12

IAP, Paris

  • 9/11: MUC(9:10)-CDG(10:45)
  • 9/12: CDG(11:55)-MUC(13:20)

September 2–3

JR-NET [14:00-16:00] and JSPS-Abend [15min dinner speech in English on “Cosmic Microwave Background: Fossil of the Fireball Universe”] at Hotel Bristol

  • 9/2: München Hbf (7:28)-Bonn Hbf (12:19)
  • 9/3: Bonn Hbf (10:33)-München Hbf (15:28)

August 31–September 1

Workshop on “From Inflation to Galaxies”, in honour of Sabino Matarrese at Castello Pasquini, Castiglioncello, Italy

August 26

MPI für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim [13:00-16:15]

  • 8/26: MUC(8:40)-DUS(9:50)
  • 8/26: DUS(18:10)-MUC(19:20)

August 20–24

Vacation in Finland. No emails!!

  • 8/20: MUC(8:45)-HEL(12:10)
  • 8/24: HEL(12:55)-MUC(14:30)

August 9–12

Steering Committee Meeting for PFS at Hilton hawaiian Village, Honolulu

  • 8/9: MUC(12:00)-LAX(15:15); LAX(17:41)-HNL(20:30)
  • 8/11-12: HNL(6:25)-SFO(14:32); SFO(20:50)-MUC(17:05)

July 20-24

MPA/MPE/ESO/Excellence Cluster Universe Conference on “Theoretical and Observational Progress on the Large-scale Structure of the Universe,” ESO Auditorium, Garching

June 17

66. Jahresversammlung der MPG in Berlin

  • 6/17: MUC(6:30)-TXL(7:35)
  • 6/17: TXL(21:45)-MUC(22:55)

June 15–17

Workshop on “ICM Physics and Modeling” at MPA

June 10–14

Princeton University

  • 6/9: Drive back from PSU to Princeton! Reception at Brush Gallery between Jadwin and Fine [20:00-22:00]
  • 6/10-12: CMB@50 Conference
    • 6/11: a panelist for Session 5: “Six-Parameter LCDM and Cosmic Structure Formation” [16:15-18:30; no more than 2 slides and 10 min per panelist] video, from 1:30:17
  • 6/13-14: EWR(17:25)-MUC(7:40)

June 6–8

Conference on “General Relativity and Gravitation: A Centennial Perspective” at Penn State University (PSU)

June 1–3

Workshop on “The Near Infrared Background II: From Reionization to the Present Epoch” at MPA

May 27–30

Fermi Anisotropy Project “Hackathon” at GRAPPA, Univ. of Amsterdam

  • 5/27: MUC(14:50)-AMS(16:20)
  • 5/30: AMS(15:40)-MUC(17:05)

May 18–21

ICTP, Trieste, Italy

  • 5/18: MUC(15:15)-AMS(16:10)
  • 5/21: AMS(12:50)-MUC(13:50)

May 7,8

Editorial Board Meeting of Astronomy and Astrophysics Reviews in Heidelberg

  • 5/7: München Hbf Gl. 12(15:47)-Heidelberg Hbf Gl.3(18:44)
  • 5/8: Heidelberg Hbf Gl.7-München Hbf Gl. 13(20:11)

April 19–21

Colloquium on “Polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background: Toward an Observational Proof of Cosmic Inflation” at Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, the Netherlands [15:30-17:00]

  • 4/19: MUC(12:10)-AMS(13:40); Amsterdam Airport(14:03)-Groningen Station(16:14)
  • 4/21: Groningen Station(11:46)-Amsterdam Airport(13:56); AMS(15:40)-MUC(17:05)

April 14,15

Universität Leipzig. Physics colloquium on “Critical Tests of Theory of the Early Universe using the Cosmic Microwave Background” [16:00]

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 - and has 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 I present the results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite that I contributed, and then discuss the recent results from the Planck satellite (in which I am not involved). Finally, I discuss future prospects on our quest to probe the physical condition of the very early Universe.

  • 4/14: MUC(11:15)-LEJ(12:10)
  • 4/15: LEJ(12:50)-MUC(13:50)

March 17–23

Osaka, Japan

March 16

German Physical Society Meeting at TU Berlin

  • 3/16: MUC(7:05)-TXL(8:15)
  • 3/16: Give a talk on “Results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe” [11:10-11:50; H2013 (in Session GR 1.3)]
    • Abstract: The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) mapped the distribution of temperature and polarization over the entire sky in five microwave frequency bands. These full-sky maps were used to ob- tain measurements of temperature and polarization anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background with the unprecedented accuracy and precision. The analysis of two-point correlation functions of temperature and polarization data gives determinations of the fundamental cosmological parameters such as the age and composition of the universe, as well as the key parameters describing the physics of inflation, which is further constrained by three-point correlation functions. WMAP observations alone reduced the flat Lambda cold dark matter cosmological model (six) parameter volume by a factor of >68,000 compared with pre-WMAP measurements. The WMAP observations (sometimes in combination with other astrophysical probes) convincingly show the existence of non-baryonic dark matter, the cosmic neutrino background, flatness of spatial geometry of the universe, a deviation from a scale-invariant spectrum of initial scalar fluctuations, and that the current universe is undergoing an accelerated expansion. The WMAP observations provide the strongest ever support for inflation; namely, the structures we see in the universe originate from quantum fluctuations generated during inflation. 
  • 3/16: TXL(15:55)-MUC(17:05)

February 27–28

Higgs Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland

  • 2/27: MUC(8:30)-FRA-EDI(11:25)
  • 2/27: Higgs Centre Colloquium on  “Polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background: Toward an Observational Proof of Cosmic Inflation” [13:00-14:00 (50+10)]
    • Abstract: Statistical properties of the observed fluctuations of temperature and polarisation 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 polarisation of the cosmic microwave background is the most promising method known to date to detect such gravitational waves. In this presentation, we first briefly review the physics of E- and B-mode polarisation 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, 1016 GeV. 
  • 2/28: EDI(12:40)-FRA-MUC(18:15)

February 18–20

CPT Sektionssitzung, Berlin-Dahlem

  • 2/18: MUC(15:35)-TXL(16:45)
  • 2/20: TXL(16:40)-MUC(17:50)

February 8–15

New York, NY and Princeton, NJ

  • 2/8: MUC(15:30)-EWR(18:55)
  • 2/9: Physics Colloquium at Columbia University, “Hunting for Dark Matter in Anisotropies of the Gamma-ray Sky: Predictions and Observational Results from Fermi-LAT” [16:15]
    • Abstract: Can we use the Fermi gamma-ray satellite like WMAP? In 2006, we proposed to use anisotropies in the distribution of photons in the sky in gamma-ray energies (not the cosmic microwave background!) as a smoking-gun signature of annihilation of dark matter particles in the universe. The idea is simple: since dark matter traces the large-scale structure of the universe, the emission from dark matter must appear anisotropic in the sky, and its spatial pattern is predictable. The use of anisotropy (especially the power spectrum) was new to the gamma-ray community, so we teamed up with the Fermi-LAT team to look for this signature. Here, we report on the first detection of anisotropy in the diffuse gamma-ray background measured by Fermi-LAT. We find that the detected signal is very likely due to unresolved blazers. Subtracting this signal, we place a stringent upper limit on the residual anisotropy signal, which would then put constraints on dark matter properties. We then recently realized that cross-correlating the gamma-ray map with locations of galaxies vastly increases sensitivity to dark matter annihilation signals; we present the current limit from such a cross-correlation analysis as well as a forecast for the Fermi 5-year data. 
  • 2/11: Simons Lecture on “Cosmic Microwave Background: Observational Tests of Theories of the Early Universe” at Simons Foundation, NY [16:15–18:15]
    • Abstract: We live in a remarkable era. We can directly see what our universe was like 13.8 billion years ago. We use observations to test some of our wildest imaginings about how our universe began. Eiichiro Komatsu will summarize the current observational results and the state of affairs on theories of the early universe. In this lecture, Komatsu will describe the “cosmic microwave background,” the light remnants of the Big Bang. With this light, we can directly see the physical state of the universe when it was very young. Detailed analyses of this light show a remarkable fact: All the cosmic structures, including galaxies, stars, planets and ourselves, originate from small quantum mechanical fluctuations present in the early universe. Such extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and Komatsu and his group believe they have such evidence. He will describe the physics of the cosmic microwave background, discuss observational results and explain what they mean for our understanding of how the universe began.
  • 2/13: Talk on “Analytical Model for Non-thermal Pressure in Galaxy Clusters” at Gravity Lunch, Princeton University [12:15-13:15]
  • 2/14-15: EWR(17:10)-MUC(7:20)

February 2–4

IMPRS Workshop

January 26

Presentation at a public event at LMU on “Cosmic Microwave Background: Seeing the Early Universe” (19:30–)

  • Abstract: Cosmology, the science investigating questions about the entire universe, has recently been converted from a rather speculative theoretical enterprise to a data driven empirical subject. This is largely due to satellite missions mapping the microwave background radiation, which is a remnant of an early time when the universe was much denser and hotter than today. Professor Komatsu is a leading researcher in this area of observational cosmology. He has been a key figure in mapping the cosmic microwave sky. Professor Steinhardt is one of the most influential theoretical cosmologists for many years. He has recently argued that the high precision data favor a cyclic evolution of the universe rather than inflationary Big Bang cosmology that he himself had previously been a key contributor to. The speakers will not only present the latest findings about the universe and its possible beginnings but also discuss if there are limits of what can be theorized about, and how far the scientific method can be taken. Does it reach to the boundaries of the universe or is there a fundamental limit of what can be known.

January 19-23

IMPRS lectures on Cosmic Microwave Background [3 hours per day x 5 days]

January 16

Botschaft von Japan in Deutschland

  • 1/16: MUC(8:40)-TXL(9:50)
  • 1/16: TXL(15:55)-MUC(17:05)

January 15

ESA’s M4 proposal due [noon CET]

December 27-January 10

Takarazuka and Fukushima

  • 12/27-1/1: Takarazuka
  • 1/2-1/9: Fukushima
  • 1/10: HND(12:40)-MUC(16:55)
komatsu_at_mpa-garching_dot_mpg_dot_de © EIICHIRO KOMATSU 2012