University of Wyoming Physics & Astronomy Colloquium Series

Fridays -- 4:10 PM -- Prowse Room 234

Pre-Colloquium tea served at 3:45 in the Prowse Room

Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 Schedule

First Friday in Fall Semester is September 2
September 23 Properties of exoplanets and systems with Kepler
Jason Steffen (UNLV)

NASA's Kepler mission has revolutionized the field of exoplanets and its discoveries give new insights into our theories of planet formation and dynamical evolution. With over 4000 planet candidates and 1000 confirmed planets, the variety of systems and planets shows the breadth of properties that planet formation models must encompass. I present some of the landmark results of the Kepler mission, especially relating to the planet masses and orbital architectures of the planetary systems. I discuss how these results affect our understanding of the solar system and of planets in general.

September 30 Measuring the Universe with the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument
Stephen Bailey (LBL)

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will perform a spectroscopic redshift survey of ~30 million galaxies and quasars at the Kitt Peak National Observatory 4-m Mayall telescope from 2019-2024. These include 4M luminous red galaxies, 17M emission line galaxies, and 2.4M quasars with 0.7M Lyman-alpha forest lines-of-sight. These enable DESI to map the expansion history of the universe to redshift 3 with unprecedented accuracy using the baryon acoustic oscillation method. During bright time, DESI will observe an additional 10M nearby galaxies and 10M stars. I will describe the science reach of DESI, the new spectrographs fed by 5000 robotically positioned fiber optics, and the data systems for target selection, survey planning, simulations, and processing the data. While building off the heritage of previous galaxy redshift surveys, DESI is upgrading all aspects of the pipelines and algorithms to maximize the science reach of the new instrument and survey.

Mon, October 10 Joint Astronomy/Geology Colloquium; Geology 216 at 3:10PM (NOTE day/time/room change)

The Diversity and Demographics of Distant Rocky Worlds
Leslie Rogers (University of Chicago)

The discovery of exoplanets (planets outside our Solar System) has brought the settings of many science fiction stories within reach of scientific inquiry. Astronomers' ever increasing sensitivity to smaller and smaller planets has opened the opportunity for empirical insights into the nature and demographics of distant terrestrial worlds. Up to what size and mass do planets typically have rocky compositions? How Earth-like are these distant rocky worlds? How common are rocky planets in the Habitable Zones of their host stars? In this talk, I will present the current constraints on each of these questions, appealing both to individual planet case studies and to planet population statistics.

October 28 Women in Physics & Astronomy Tea

Join us for a discussion of the status of women in physics & astronomy!

November 4 Title, TBD
Kris Beckwith (Tech-X Corporation)

Abstract, TBD

November 18 Title, TBD
Matthew Povich (Cal. Poly Pomona)

Abstract, TBD

Final Friday in Fall Semester is December 9
First Friday in Spring Semester is January 27
January 27 Title, TBD
Brian Jackson (Boise State)

Abstract, TBD

February 24 The 14-billion Year History of the Universe Leading to Modern Materials Science
Joe Greene (UIUC, Linköping, NTU)

Abstract is available here

March 3 Title, TBD
Zach Berta-Thompson (CU Boulder)

Abstract, TBD

May 5 Title, TBD
Matt Greenhouse (NASA)

Abstract, TBD

Final Friday in Spring Semester is May 5

Previous colloquia series: Fall 2002 Spring 2003 Fall 2003 Spring 2004 Fall 2004 Spring 2005 Fall 2005 Spring 2006 Fall 2006 Spring 2007 Fall 2007 Spring 2008
2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Contact for program information: Adam Myers