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Past Colloquia

Testing general relativity with binary pulsars: a whole new game

Cody Hall

Paulo Freire (Max Planck - Bonn)

April 25, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

In this talk I will describe the current renaissance of tests of gravity theories with binary pulsars. I start by describing the classic radiative test of general relativity using the Hulse-Taylor pulsar and the (now) far superior tests done in the double pulsar system. I…

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New Probes of Quasar Winds: Multi-Year Variability, Redshifted Troughs, and Hard X-ray Spectroscopy of Broad Absorption Line Quasars

Cody Hall

Niel Brandt (Penn State)

April 11, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

Winds are key parts of quasar nuclear environments, assisting mass accretion and perhaps providing feedback into typical massive galaxies. They are most directly observed via prominent absorption in the UV (e.g., Broad Absorption Lines: BALs) and X-ray bands. I will discuss results coming from three…

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Time domain science with the FLOYDS robotic spectrographs

Cody Hall

David Sand (Taxas Tech)

April 04, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

I will discuss the twin FLOYDS robotic spectrographs, operating at the 2m Faulkes Telescopes North and South as part of the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network.  The FLOYDS instruments were designed with supernova classification and monitoring in mind, with a very large wavelength range…

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Dark Energy, Inflation and Neutrino Physics Imprinted on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)

Cody Hall

Suzanne Staggs (Princeton)

March 28, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) probes the origin, growth and dynamics of structure in our universe in diverse ways.  Recent events highlight that polarization anisotropy in the CMB encodes new information, including reports of a possible detection of the signature of inflation along with first…

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The theories of everything, from an astronomer’s perspective

Cody Hall

David Hogg (NYU)

March 14, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

Enormous projects in astronomy are creating enormous data sets and creating enormous data analysis challenges; indeed there are several areas of astrophysics in which we can think about truly comprehensive data sets that could, for example, measure the amplitude of every large-scale structure mode (above…

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Following the Trail of Water in Star and Planet Formation

Cody Hall

Edwin Bergin (Michigan)

March 07, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

In this talk I outline new advances in our understanding of the formation and transport of water from clouds to disks, planetesimals, and planets.   This is based in large part on new observational results from the Spitzer and Herschel Space Observatories encompassing the entire star/planet…

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Resonant Kuiper Belt objects

Cody Hall

Brett Gladman (UBC)

February 28, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

Resonances play a major role in the distribution of small bodies in our Solar System, and almost certainly in other planetary systems.  They sometimes serve as traps, and in other situations are a rapid source of instability.  This talk will present a primer on orbital…

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Massive Galaxy Growth since Cosmic Noon

Cody Hall

Stijn Wuyts (MPE)

February 24, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

The Hubble Space Telescope and integral-field spectrographs on the ground have offered us an unprecedented view of the internal physics within high-redshift galaxies.  Exploiting the powerful synergy between high-resolution imaging from CANDELS and spectroscopy from 3D-HST and SINS, I will present new insights on resolved…

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Looking through the Epoch of Reionization window with the Murchison Widefield Array

Cody Hall

Miguel Morales (Washington)

February 21, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

Measurement of the spatial distribution of neutral hydrogen via the redshifted 21 cm line promises to transform our knowledge of the Epoch of Reionization (EoR). In my talk I will give an accessible introduction to this new field, discuss how we plan to observe the…

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Dwarf Galaxies: The Nexus of Dark Matter and Chemical Evolution

Cody Hall

Evan Kirby (UC Irvine)

February 18, 2014
14:00 - 15:00

The Local Group’s dwarf galaxies are near enough for exquisitely detailed, resolved stellar spectroscopy and diverse enough to conduct experiments on dark matter and chemical evolution.  I have collected medium-resolution spectra for thousands of stars in many dwarf galaxies in the Local Group.  Innovative techniques…

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