by Lori Ann White   An Interview with KIPAC alum Matt Turk In the new series, "Where are they now?" we check in with KIPAC alumni: where they are now, how they have fared since their days exploring particle astrophysics and cosmology at the Institute, and how their KIPAC experiences have shaped their journeys. First up is Matt Turk, a KIPAC graduate student from... Read More
By Greg Madejski The concept of a black hole seems to be shrouded in mystery, perhaps partly because of the enigmatic name, but in reality it is a very simple one:  a black hole is an object containing an enormous quantity of mass shrunk down to a tiny volume - so much so that the speed required to escape the pull of this compact object’s gravity would exceed even... Read More
By Josh Meyers One of the chief goals of current and planned astronomy surveys is to determine the nature of dark energy - the name given to the mysterious ‘substance’ that appears to be making the expansion of the Universe proceed faster and faster over time in surprising opposition to the expectations of nearly all cosmologists only a couple of short decades ago... Read More
By William E. East One of the more graphic terms in black hole physics is "spaghettification."  It refers to the way that strongly varying gravitational forces can distort a round object into a shape most familiar from your dinner plate. This is a fate that can befall a star that has the misfortune to wander too close to a massive black hole. In this post, I want to... Read More
By Andrea Albert In the hunt for dark matter, any information to help us narrow in on what to look for is key.  Miguel Sánchez-Conde (KIPAC and Stockholm University) and Francisco Prada (IFT/UAM, Madrid) have just published a crucial clue, concerning the concentration of dark matter halos, which are self-gravitating accumulations of dark matter that host systems... Read More
By Mandeep S. S. Gill Take a star that weighs about twice as much as our Sun, and compact it down to the size of a medium-sized city, to make a neutron star whose extreme mass warps the spacetime everywhere near it.  Next, put a much smaller companion star in orbit around it at very close range, and let the system evolve: what happens now? In star systems like... Read More
Simulated ALMA observation
By Mandeep S. S. Gill Astronomers strongly suspect that supermassive black holes play critical roles in the evolution of galaxies, but the details are not yet known. The masses of these monsters, when compared with the masses of their host galaxies, provide an important clue - but how do you weigh a black hole more than half way across the universe? KIPAC scientist... Read More
KIPAC Newsletter #4 After a long hiatus we are excited to share KIPAC’s Newsletter # 4 to catch up with the many wonderful things that have been happening this year! As you all know we had very exciting news here, including the BICEP 2 announcement and a number of events associated with it. We couldn’t be more proud of Chao Lin-Kuo and his group on their discovery.... Read More
why you should check if the dice are loaded Written by Andrea Albert I was searching for evidence of dark matter as my PhD thesis when I was a graduate student at The Ohio State University.  While I was still developing my analysis, another team of researchers doing something similar thought there was a chance they had found this evidence of dark matter at the... Read More
KIPAC Newsletter #3 (Dec 20, 2013) by Tom Abel In this Newsletter: KIPAC@10 imminent, new arrivals and new alumni, call for workshop proposals, Computing endowment, Giddings fellow named, postdoc ad, and more. Welcome to the KIPAC Newsletter It is with great pleasure that I send out my first KIPAC nchiewsletter in my new role as Acting Director of KIPAC. As the... Read More