What would it be like to peer billions of years into the past, viewing hundreds of millions of galaxies, some billions of light years away? What would it feel like to be part of a team trying to uncover the secrets of our universe?
Starting this week, the Dark Energy Survey team invites you to find out by following their new photo blog, Dark Energy Detectives. The name refers to the DES collaboration's ongoing hunt for the mysterious stuff known as dark energy, according to post-doctoral researcher Brian Nord, who helped design the new site.
Scientists speak a different language to present issues, argue points and convey information. B efore many of these equations make it into a research journal or textbook, they are written in marker, chalk or ink. They are scratched out, erased and rewritten until they speak a universal truth backed by laws of mathematics or physics. We wanted to know what it is like to speak this language, to get lost in an equation. So we asked scientists from three Ohio universities to translate. Read More
While working with Astronomy Grad student Ben Shapee, Alex Talabere, a junior at Metro High School, finished out his internship with CCAPP by being a co-author of the astronomical telegram, "ASAS-SN Discovery of 3 Cataclysmic Variables", along with other scientists from the US, Chile and Poland. The CCAPP internship allowed Alex to contribute to the ongoing ASAS-SN project (All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae). This survey is designed to look for the bright supernovae explosions in the nearby universe. This is the first systematic all-sky search for nearby supernovae. This survey uses four wide-field cameras with 20-cm lenses located in Chile and Hawaii. This project is being conducted to gain insight into the progenitor stars of supernovae, and to allow scientists to make the first complete census and detailed characterization of the brightest supernovae in a volume-limited sample of galaxies. Along the way, ASAS-SN will find many other transient objects, including the new cataclysmic variables that Alex helped discover.
Since its beginnings, CCAPP scientists have been fueled by tens of thousands of espresso shots, brewed with Luck Bros' Coffee. Locally owned and independently operated, Luck Bros' has recently honored this connection with a special roasting, aptly titled "Dark Energy".
The first iteration of Dark Energy is a blend of Central America coffees roasted to different levels and then combined for a complex and balanced experience of brightness, deep lingering notes of chocolate and caramel, and a rich heavy mouth feel. This versatile blend is a solid choice for brewing espresso or drip coffee and best used for cold brewing. Stop in CCAPP for a tasting, or better yet stop by Luck Bros' and say hi to the originator of Dark Energy, owner Andy Luck.
Dear CCAPP members and friends,
The 2013 Campus Campaign is on until 30 April. When you are considering university and department funds to invest in, I encourage you to help CCAPP expand its student- and public-oriented activities.
Thanks in part to generous contributions from donors like yourself, we have been able to increase such activities, and we are eager to do more like the following:
+ Graduate education: providing funds to help make it possible for graduate students to attend conferences where they present their work.
+ Public lectures: bringing internationally-known experts like our recent visitors Sean Carroll and David E. Kaplan to Ohio State to give lectures and interact with students.
+ Outreach: hosting events for young people like the middle-school ice cream social with Jill Tarter.
Donating is easy and tax-deductible. Just click the Give Now button below, or if you're an OSU employee and would like to give via payroll deduction, please search for CCAPP in the Campus Campaign web page.
We are grateful for the generosity of those who have already donated. Even modest donations help financially and send a message to the university about appreciation of CCAPP activities.
Thank you for your consideration. We welcome hearing ideas for new initiatives.
Chris Orban, an Ohio State University astrophysicist, has used the supercomputer to model theories on how dark matter particles can help form galaxies in an expanding universe. Read Article
Spectroscopy is a technique that astronomers use to measure and analyze the hundreds of colors contained in the light emitted by stars, galaxies and other celestial objects.
Ordinary telescopes show the directions in which objects are located but offer no information on how far away these objects are.
Spectroscopic surveys make use of the fact that, as light travels to us from distant galaxies, it gets stretched out by the expanding universe and appears redder. By measuring the light spectrum of a galaxy, scientists can determine its redshift and thus its distance.
The largest spectroscopic survey to date is the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, which is being carried out at the Sloan telescope and will record the spectra of 1.5 million galaxies by the time it's completed in 2014. BOSS will offer insight into one of the biggest mysteries of the universe: dark energy, the enigmatic force that has accelerated the universe's expansion over the last 5 billion years.
An even more ambitious spectroscopic survey to measure the redshifts of 20 million galaxies is now being developed. In a few years, when this new spectroscopic survey experiment goes online, we will finally realize the massive scale of cosmic cartography necessary for truly sensitive measurements of dark energy.
Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to find evidence our Milky Way Galaxy is embedded in an enormous halo of hot gas that extends for hundreds of thousands of light years. The estimated mass of the halo is comparable to the mass of all the stars in the galaxy.
"Our work shows that, for reasonable values of parameters and with reasonable assumptions, the Chandra observations imply a huge reservoir of hot gas around the Milky Way," said co-author Smita Mathur of Ohio State University in Columbus. "It may extend for a few hundred thousand light-years around the Milky Way or it may extend farther into the surrounding local group of galaxies. Either way, its mass appears to be very large."
Klaus Honscheid, professor of physics, led a team that developed the software to run a powerful new camera designed to answer one of the biggest mysteries in physics. The Dark Energy Camera (DECam), located on a mountaintop in Chile, took its first photos of the night sky this week. The camera will help researchers involved in the Dark Energy Survey (DES) to explore why the expansion of the universe is speeding up. Honscheid's team also designed a web-based user interface allowing astronomers to operate DECam from around the world, along with the instrument control system that monitors and records every operating parameter of the camera.
Read Full OSU Article...
The most powerful sky-scanning camera yet built has begun its quest to pin down the mysterious stuff that makes up nearly three-quarters of our Universe.
Read more about DES and its first light:
While in Columbus for CCAPP's 6th Annual Biard Lectureship in Cosmology and Astrophysics, Jill Tarter from SETI met with local middle school age kids for an ice cream social and scientific discussion.
In sharing her story and experiences about how she got into searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, her message to the kids was to never stop learning and to always take advantage of opportunities presented to them along the way.
Annika Peter and Chris Hirata have accepted OSU faculty offers in Physics with joint appointments in Astronomy. Their affiliations started in Fall 2012, though their arrivals will not be until about one year later. We have begun integrating them into the scientific life here, including having them visit frequently and we welcomed Annika to the CCAPP Science Board.
Annika's research focus is theoretical particle astrophysics, especially dark matter, and Chris's focus is theoretical cosmology, especially dark energy.
Based on their research interests and their interactive styles, they will each be great matches to Physics, Astronomy, and CCAPP and we are looking forward to great new things!
Gary Steigman retired this summer, after a long and distinguished career at OSU and other institutions. He will remain an active member of CCAPP and continue with his research while enjoying saying "Nothing!" when asked what he is teaching this year.
Physics, Astronomy, and CCAPP hosted a reception honoring his scientific career over 40 years as a faculty member and his important role over 26 years as faculty member at OSU in shaping the strong groups we have in both departments today.
The reception was held on August 24, 2012 in the Physics Research Building with special guests by President Gee, Dean Joe Steinmetz, and colleague Bob Scherrer.
As a surprise to Gary, CCAPP held a special seminar given by Bob Scherrer, now Chair at Vanderbilt, and formerly faculty at Ohio State. In the second part of his talk, he presented "The Life and Times of Gary Steigman", discussing Gary Steigman's contributions to cosmology, and place them in their historical and intellectual context. He also showed some funny pictures of Gary.
The annual GRASP (Girls Reaching to Achieve in Sports and Physics) Summer Camp, hosted by the Ohio State University Department of Physics Undergraduate Studies Office in coordination with physics faculty, staff, and students, began June 11, 2012.
The GRASP Summer Camp is a 5 day long day camp for 30 middle school age girls. Each day consists of hands-on, interactive physics demonstrations and projects followed by a physical activity that shows how physics relates to everyday phenomena. Ohio State staff, undergraduate students and graduate students are present at all sessions, to supervise and share their understanding and love of physics with the GRASP participants.
CCAPP Faculty Amy Connolly, John Beacom and Todd Thompson hosted an Astronomy Q&A session giving the girls an opportunity to ask anything they wanted about astronomy.
If you would like to Give to GRASP, fund 313987...
The Department of Astronomy and the Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (CCAPP) sponsor a summer research program for Ohio State undergraduates. This program offers full-time, paid summer research positions in astrophysics with a faculty member of the Department of Astronomy and/or Physics.
This past summer, 2012, CCAPP postdoc Carsten Rott hosted undergraduate Zachary Hartman.
The Dr. Pliny A. and Margaret H. Price Prize of the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (CCAPP, http://ccapp.osu.edu) is supported by generous gifts from Steve Price and Jill Levy, and is named after Steve's parents. Steve and Jill reside in Westerville and are admirers of the study of this science.
The Price Prize recognizes graduate students who have shown outstanding promise in areas of research closely connected to those of CCAPP. The selection, which is extremely competitive, is made by the CCAPP Science Board from nominations from around the world.
The 2012 awardees are Charlotte Strege of Imperial College, London and Chris Williams of the University of Chicago. Each will visit CCAPP in Autumn 2012 for about a week and will give a special seminar. The prize covers their expenses and provides an honorarium of $1500. The continued generosity of the donors made it possible to offer two prizes this year.
Strege is a theorist; she is probing the unknown particle properties of dark matter through combining results from astrophysical, underground, and collider experiments. Williams is an experimentalist; he is working on new techniques to detect the highest-energy particles in the universe, seeking clues to their unknown origins.
Several new postdocs are starting or have recently started in CCAPP.
We are excited about their scientific work to date and look forward to
the results of their ongoing work.
Eric Huff from Berkeley has accepted our CCAPP Fellow offer and will begin in Fall 2012.
Kohta Murase has accepted our CCAPP Senior Fellow offer for the time between his Japan Society of the Promotion of Science International Fellowship in CCAPP and his Hubble Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; he will be in this role from May to September 2012.
Carl Pfendner has accepted a postdoctoral position with Professor Amy Connolly and has been a CCAPP Visiting Fellow since Winter 2012.
Ralph Schoenrich brought his Hubble Fellowship to Ohio State and has been a CCAPP Visiting Fellow since Fall 2011.
Paul Sutter is a CCAPP Visiting Fellow from the University of Illinois and the Paris Institute of Astrophysics, where he works with Professor Ben Wandelt, and he has been spending part of his time here since Fall 2011.
Zhaoyu Yang has accepted a joint postdoctoral position with Professor Richard Hughes and Brian Winer of the Fermi Group and CCAPP. She began Summer 2011.
Several CCAPP Fellows are moving on to new jobs. We congratulate
them on their successful careers here and on their excellent new jobs.
Basudeb Dasgupta has accepted a postdoc at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy which starts November 2012.
Tim Eifler has accepted a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania. He was offered the job in the previous season, but he deferred his start until April 2012.
Shunsaku Horiuchi was awarded a Japan Society of the Promotion of Science (JSPS) International Fellowship, which he will take to the University of California, Irvine, Fall 2012.
Michael Mortonson has accepted a postdoc at UC Berkeley which starts Fall 2012.
Kohta Murase was awarded a Hubble Fellowship, which he will take to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, Fall 2012.
John Beacom, Professor in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP), has been elected to a four-year term in the Chair line of the Division of Astrophysics of the American Physical Society.
The Division of Astrophysics represents scientists working in many fields of astrophysics and cosmology within the American Physical Society (APS), the principal professional society in physics. The Chairs of APS divisions are chosen through votes of all division members. Members elected to the Chair line progress through the top offices in the division. Beacom will serve as Vice Chair in 2012-2013, Chair-Elect in 2013-2014, Chair in 2014-2015, and Past Chair in 2015-2016.
Ohio State has been well-represented in the APS leadership. Ohio State Physics faculty recently elected to the Chair line in other APS Divisions include Lou DiMauro, the Dr. Edward E. and Sylvia Hagenlocker Chair and Professor of Physics (Division of Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics), and John Wilkins, Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor of Physics (Division of Condensed Matter Physics).
Beacom's research is centered on neutrinos, nearly-noninteracting and nearly-massless elementary particles, and especially on neutrinos from astrophysical sources. The fundamental goal of Beacom's work is to help turn "neutrino astronomy" from a near-oxymoron into a observational science and to develop its theoretical consequences for both physics and astronomy.
Carsten Rott, a CCAPP Senior Fellow, has been appointed a co-convenor of the IceCube Dark Matter Working Group. Carsten will join Carlos de los Heros (Uppsala University) as a co-lead.
The IceCube dark matter working group is actively pursuing various analyses to search for dark matter annihilation signals from the Galactic Center, Milky Way Halo, Dwarf Spheriodal Galaxies, Galaxy Clusters, as well as signals from the center of the Earth and the Sun.
The indirect search for dark matter is one of the core science topics of IceCube. Data collected with the partially instrumented detector has already been used to produce the world's best constraints on spin-dependent scattering of dark matter particles on nucleons. The full IceCube detector, active since May 2011, provides significantly improved sensitivity to dark matter signals.
An international team of more than 120 scientists will take the next step Monday toward solving the mystery of dark energy, one of physics' most perplexing conundrums. The farther an object in the universe is from Earth, the faster it moves away. T. Eifler, a CCAPP Postdoc and DES project collaborator, says to understand the concept, think of throwing a baseball.
Physicists said the new camera will provide information to help them better understand the composition of dark energy and the laws that govern it.
The Dark Energy Camera (photo on left) will photograph almost 300 million galaxies over the next five years. The camera is a crucial component in the Dark Energy Survey.
Tellurium detected for the first time in ancient stars.
Jennifer Johnson, an associate professor of astronomy at Ohio State University, says tellurium has been a "tough" element to detect, since it absorbs light in the ultraviolet spectrum, which is impossible for ground-based telescopes to spot. The team's findings, she says, are a first step in identifying some of the most elusive elements in the universe.
The Dr. Pliny A. and Margaret H. Price Prize of the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (CCAPP) is supported by generous gifts from Steve Price and Jill Levy, and is named after Steve's parents. Steve and Jill reside in Westerville and are admirers of the study of this science.
The Price Prize recognizes graduate students who have shown exceptional accomplishments and promise in areas of research closely connected to those of CCAPP. The selection, which is extremely competitive, is made by the CCAPP Science Board from nominations from around the world.
The 2011 awardees are Sayan Chakraborti of the Tata Institute and Michele Fumagalli of Santa Cruz. Each will visit CCAPP in 2012 for about a week and will give a special seminar. The prize covers their expenses and provides an honorarium of $1500. The continued generosity of the donors made it possible to offer two prizes this year.
Chakraborti works on the mechanisms and consequences of supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. Fumagalli works on how galaxies and their stars form across cosmic time. An unusual aspect of their work is that each has worked on both theory and observation.
A binary star system in the Whirlpool Galaxy has brought OSU astronomers tantalizingly close to their goal of observing a star just before it goes supernova.
C. Rott, a CCAPP Senior Fellow, was awarded the Antarctica Service Medal from the National Science Foundation.
The 2011 Nobel Physics Prize was awarded this week to Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Riess for their surprising discovery in 1998 that type Ia supernovae indicate that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.
Prior to this finding, most models of the universe predicted that the gravitational pull of matter should cause the expansion of space to slow down over time. The data collected by the Supernova Cosmology Project led by Perlmutter and the High-z Supernova Search Team led by Schmidt and Riess revealed that the most distant supernovae appear fainter than expected, implying that space is actually expanding at an increasing rate. Attempts to explain this phenomenon, which require either assuming the existence of a strange new substance with negative pressure or altering Einstein's theory of gravity, are generically termed "dark energy."
The discovery of cosmic acceleration ushered in over a decade of efforts to reveal the nature of dark energy using not only larger samples of supernovae but also a variety of novel methods to measure the cosmic expansion history. As a result, there are now many lines of evidence showing that dark energy makes up about 70 per cent of the energy density of our universe, but exactly what the dark energy is remains an open question.
Researchers at CCAPP are participating in several ongoing programs that aim to significantly improve our knowledge of dark energy's role in the evolution of the universe, including the Dark Energy Survey and the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. As these surveys map out the universe with increasing precision over the next few years, the data they provide will enable us to narrow down the range of possible explanations for cosmic acceleration and perhaps lead to another breakthrough in our understanding of cosmology and fundamental physics.
M. Stamatikos, a CCAPP Postdoctoral Researcher, speaks on the subject discussing the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, its legacy and the future of human space exploration.
Ohio State University researchers are leveraging powerful supercomputers to investigate one of the key observational probes of "dark energy," the mysterious energy form that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate over time.
The OSU project, led by Chris Orban, a graduate research fellow in physics at Ohio State's Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics, focuses on simulations created on Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) systems to simplify and better characterize a subtle dark matter clustering feature.
CCAPP Postdoc B. Dasgupta is 1 of 30 scientists to win the 2011 Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Young Scientists Award. He is being recognized for his discovery of unusual and interesting effects of large neutrino densities in supernova cores.
The award of an Academy medal to a Young Scientist is made in recognition of notable contributions to any branch of science or technology, recognized by the Academy, on the basis of work carried out in India. Any citizen of India who has not attained the age of 35 years is eligible.
Read more about the INSA Young Scientist Award...
CCAPP is very proud to announce that CCAPP postdoc Jennifer Siegal-Gaskins has been awarded a prestigious Einstein Fellowship which she plans to take to Cal Tech. Jenny was one of 10 Einstein Fellows awarded this year, and she joins Eduardo Rozo and Matt Kistler as CCAPP recipients.
Read More about the Einstein Fellowship...
Learn More about Jenny and this year's Recipients...
The space shuttle program may be drawing to a close, but science aboard the International Space Station (ISS) isn't slowing down, according to ISS Program Manager Julia Robinson.
Read the OnCampus Article...
Researchers at Ohio State are using the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope to locate gamma ray bursts, the most energetic objects in the universe. Learn how their observations are being used to help explain how the universe works and what it is made of.
CCAPP is very pleased to announce the establishment of Price Place, a state-of-the-art facility designed as a gathering spot for CCAPP postdocs, students, and visitors. Located in Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, Price Place will serve as a home to CCAPP's many visitors, both long and short term, giving young scientists a competitive advantage as they pursue forefront research.
Sponsored by a generous donation from Steve Price and Jill Levy, Price Place continues their focus on fostering the development of young researchers in cosmology and astroparticle physics.
The room is scheduled to be completed by May 2011.
The American Astronomical Society's High Energy Astrophysics Division has awarded a prestigious prize to eight Ohio State scientists. All are part of the research team for the Large Area Telescope, an instrument on board the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, which scans the skies for the most energetic form of radiation. Among their discoveries: Einstein was right about the structure of space-time.
As many as 20 percent of the most distant galaxies currently detected appear brighter than they actually are, because of an effect called "strong gravitational lensing," according to a new study that involves Haojing Yan, postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at Ohio State. The discovery could change astronomers' notions of how galaxies formed in the early universe. Yan is part of an international team of astronomers who are using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to probe the distant universe.