SASS Double Header: The Building Blocks of our Universe

Speaker: Joe DeRose and Dylan Rueter

Time: 5:30pm July 27th, 2016

Location: Kavli Auditorium

Abstract

Joe DeRose - The Waters Above: Constraining Cosmology using Galaxy Surveys

The discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe and observations of the structure of matter on large scales have exposed fundamental de ciencies in our understanding of the constituents of the universe and the forces that drive their dynamics. Physicists have lent these deficiencies the names Dark Energy, Dark Matter, and Inflation and parameterized them via the Cosmological Standard Model. Observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background have played a large role in constraining the parameter space of this model so far, favoring a LCDM cosmology with gaussian initial conditions, but large area optical sky surveys will be necessary to validate or break this model by observing the dynamics of the universe as traced out by luminous matter in the form of galaxies.

In this talk I will discuss past, present and future galaxy surveys, focusing on how they have been used to place constraints on cosmology. In particular I will emphasize how observational methodologies and theory have changed over time to give us our current picture of the universe, and what improvements need to be made in order to use future surveys to their fullest extent.

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Dylan Rueter - Not All Heroes Wear Capes: What makes a Symmetry Super?

The understanding of symmetries drives much of particle physics - we model the forces of the Standard Model using gauge symmetries, and we require all of our theories to obey the symmetries of Lorentz transformations. Since symmetries have been so successful in enhancing our understanding of the universe, a natural question to ask is whether there are more symmetries in nature which we haven't yet observed. Supersymmetry is one such possibility, and it comes with many attractive features, from the unification of forces as high energies to explaining dark matter. As a result, the search for supersymmetry has been one of the main focuses of particle physicists over the last two decades. In this talk we will explore the phenomenological implications of supersymmetry, how we constrain it, and how we look for it in experiments from the LHC to Super-Kamiokande.