Monday, December 15
Theoretical Astrophysics Seminars
Location: UCB – Hearst Field Annex B5, 12:10 p.m.
Speaker: Alyson Brooks (Rutgers)
Title: “Re-examining Astrophysical Constraints on the Dark Matter Model”
Tuesday, December 16
Location: LBNL – 50A-5132, 4 p.m.
Speaker: Adam Anderson (MIT)
Title: “Maximizing the Reach of SuperCDMS for Dark Matter Detection”
Abstract: The SuperCDMS experiment at the Soudan Underground Laboratory is designed to detect dark matter directly by its interactions in cryogenic germanium detectors. The detectors measure particle interactions using ionization and athermal phonon signals, whose topology allows for powerful rejection of radioactive backgrounds. In this talk, I will review recent SuperCDMS results focused on light dark matter, which use multivariate analysis techniques to maximize the reach of the dataset. In light of this analysis, we are now pursuing a reanalysis using improved simulations, performing new background calibrations, and developing a novel cryogenic veto detector to suppress backgrounds in future dark matter searches. I will also discuss plans for a larger array of SuperCDMS germanium and silicon detectors to be installed in SNOLAB.
Wednesday, December 17
Location: LBNL – 50B-4205
Particle Theory Seminar - no seminar today
String Group Meeting – no meeting today
Location: LBNL, 50-5026, 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 18
Astronomy Colloquium - no colloquium today
Physics Research Progress Meeting
Location: LBNL – 50A-5132, 4:00 p.m.
Speaker: Marius Millea (UC-Davis)
Title: “Planck 2014 Constraints on the Cosmic Neutrino(-like) Background”
Abstract: The Planck 2014 results include the tightest measurements to-date of cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature and polarization anisotropies up to few-arc-minute angular scales. I will give a broad overview of the cosmology results from these data, with particular focus on what we have learned about the cosmic neutrino background (CNB). The new data allow more precise answers to questions such as: (1) How much energy, parameterized by N_eff, is contained in the CNB? (2) What is the sum of the masses of the particles making up the CNB? and (3) Are these particles really neutrinos, i.e., do they free-stream like neutrinos? One possibility I will explore is if some component of the CNB actually comes from axions or axion-like particles. Recent improvements in CMB and BBN data are shedding new light on this scenario. Finally, I will discuss the status of agreement between Planck results and other cosmological probes such as BAO, H0, and low redshift structure measurements, and how the CNB may play a role in resolving tensions between some of them.
Friday, December 19