Instructors:
Marc
Kamionkowski

Cahill 322

x2563

kamion AT tapir.caltech.edu

**
**

**TA:** Denis Bashkirov
(denisb AT caltech.edu; x2632, 404 Downs)

**Class times:** Tues,Thurs, 1-2:30 in 219 Cahill (note change of room!)

**Class description:
** This
will be a seminar class on various topics of current research interest
in cosmology, particle astrophysics, and other areas of physics.
There will be no lectures and problem sets. Rather,
students will give presentations in class about subjects that the
instructor will suggest and that students will choose. Attendance
will be required, and students will be required to learn on their own a
subject well enough to explain it to others in the class. Some of
the subjects will be things that the instructor knows quite well, but
others will be on subjects that the instructor knows less about but is
interested in learning. These student talks will be
supplemented on occasion by talks from others in the Caltech community.
The purpose of the class is to get an overview of current
research topics and to get some practice figuring out things from the
literature and giving talks.

**Prerequisites:**
Basic undergraduate
physics and particularly nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. Some
quantum field theory or general relativity may be useful, but many of
the subjects can be understood, at least qualitatively, without a
detailed familiarity with the technical aspects of these subjects.

*
*

**Grade: **Grades will be assigned on the class presentation(s) you make as well as your attendance and participation in class.

On the first day of class, we will go through possible talk subjects, and students will then email me preferences for subjects they'd like to speak on. I will then make a schedule of talks based on these responses.

The talks will need to be researched and prepared by the students. For some subjects there are good review articles. Others may require reading of original papers. And google and wikipedia are always valuable as places to start. I will also provide some places to start and possibly some suggestions, but the burden will really be on the students.

**Topics:**

2. WIMP/Neutralino dark matter

3. Axions

4. Neutrino masses and mixing

5. Tests of short-range gravity

6. Double beta decay

7. Baryogenesis

8. ultra-high-energy cosmic rays

9. large extra dimensions

10. theories for cosmic acceleration

11. inflation and the CMB

12. atomic tests of parity violation

13. supersymmetry searches at the LHC

14. integer/fractional quantum hall effect

15. theory of superconductivity

16. biased galaxy clustering

others???

Suggestions for the talks

Schedule:

Mar 29 Marc gives overview

Mar 31 Marc gives overview

Apr 5 TA Denis Bashkirov on Hawking radiation, Unruh effect, etc.

Apr 7 Sean Carroll on quantum measurement theory

Apr 12 Astronomical evidence for dark matter Blasius/Cohen

Apr 14 WIMP/neutralino dark matter Mooley/Chien

Apr 19 Axions Lam/Hood

Apr 21 Neutrino masses and mixing Rousseau/Chien

Apr 26 atomic tests of parity violation Hood/Chivukula

Apr 28 supersymmetry searches at the LHC Cohen/Lee

May 3 baryogenesis Haas/Venumadhav

May 5 theories for cosmic acceleration Rousseau/Chivukula

May 10 inflation and the cmb Hui/Haas

May 12 large extra dimensions and short-range gravity: Lam/Blasius

May 17 integer/fractional quantum Hall effect Lee/Mooley

May 19 theory of superconductivity Hui/Venumadhav

May 24

May 26

Last
updated 4/6/2011