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Events on Friday, April 15th, 2016

Department Meeting
Closed Department Meeting
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Albrecht Karle
Closed meeting to discuss personnel matters—pursuant to Section 19.85(1)(c) of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law.
Host: Albrecht Karle
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
D6-branes, axion monodromy inflation and moduli backreaction
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Aitor Landete, Instituto de Fisica Teorica, Madrid
Abstract: We develop new scenarios of large field inflation in type IIA string compactifications in which the key ingredient is a D6-brane that generates a bilinear superpotential which couples the brane position modulus to a Kahler modulus. This feature allows us to construct two different models where the inflaton candidate could be the B-field axion or the D6-brane Wilson Line where all the remaining moduli are stabilized supersymmetrically. The scalar potential has the multi-branched structure typical of F-term axion monodromy models and, near its supersymmetric minima, it is described by a 4d supergravity model of chaotic inflation with a stabilizer field. Finally we analyze the effects, in our model, of integrating out the relevant closed string moduli consistently.
Host: Pablo Soler
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Physics Department Colloquium
Probing the Accelerating Universe with the Dark Energy Survey
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Josh Frieman, Fermilab and the University of Chicago
Abstract: The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2011 was awarded for the discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. Yet the physical origin of cosmic acceleration remains a mystery. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) aims to address the questions: why is the expansion speeding up? Is cosmic acceleration due to dark energy or does it require a modification of General Relativity? If dark energy, is it the energy density of the vacuum (Einstein's cosmological constant) or something else? DES is addressing these questions by measuring the history of cosmic expansion and of the growth of structure through four complementary techniques: galaxy clusters, the large-scale galaxy distribution, weak gravitational lensing, and supernovae. The DES collaboration built a new, 570-megapixel, digital camera for the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile to carry out a deep, wide-area sky survey of 300 million galaxies and a time-domain survey that will discover several thousand supernovae. I will overview the DES project, which achieved `first light' in September 2012 and which recently completed its third of five survey seasons, and will describe a number of early science results from the solar system to distant quasars.
Host: Kam Arnold
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