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Physics Colloquium: “Constraining Axion Physics With Small-Scale CMB Measurements”

Event Type
University of Illinois Department of Physics
141 Loomis
Feb 5, 2020   4:00 pm  
Renee Hlozek, University of Toronto, Ontario
Suzanne Hallihan
Originating Calendar
Physics - Colloquium

Abstract: The CMB presents a unique probe of dark matter physics.  Ultra-light axions of mass around 10^{-22} eV are a promising dark matter candidate well motivated by high energy physics. The Simons Observatory (SO) is a new cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment being built on Cerro Toco in Chile, due to begin observations in the early 2020s. SO will measure the temperature and polarization anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background in six frequency bands: 27, 39, 93, 145, 225 and 280 GHz. The initial configuration of SO will have three small-aperture 0.5-m telescopes (SATs) and one large-aperture 6-m telescope (LAT), with a total of 60,000 cryogenic bolometers.

I will highlight some of the cosmology forecasts for SO science, and focus on the constraints for ultralight axions. 

Bio: Hložek studies a variety of problems in theoretical and observational cosmology. Her research focuses on understanding what the Universe is made of, its structure and how it is changing with time. She uses data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the upcoming Simons Observatory and Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in the Chilean desert. Hložek hails from South Africa, where she studied at the University of Pretoria and the University of Cape Town. She received her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2011, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She was a Lyman Spitzer Jr. Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Astrophysics at Princeton University and the Spitzer-Cotsen Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows. She is also a TED Fellow.

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