When Antarctica Just Isn't Cold Enough: South Pole Telescope (SPT) Fridge Cycle

As you might have heard on my website, my newsletter, my Twitter, or, if we’re colleagues at Caltech, at work, I am currently working on the South Pole Telescope (SPT) onsite at the South Pole in Antarctica for January-November 2016 (I am employed by the University of Chicago). I have taken a sabbatical from my NSF Astronomy Read More …

Population III stars were fusing hydrogen before it was the hot thing to do

featured image credit: M. Kornmesser/European Southern Observatory Sobral et al. in recent work slated for publication in The Astrophysical Journal, claim observation of a galaxy, CR7, likely hosting a large contingent of Population III stars. The New York Times also has good summary; you know it’s important when actual stars get the movie star treatment. While I’m not in a position to Read More …

book review: Quantum Computing Since Democritus

There is both room for and a need for many different types of physicists and scientists to kick progress up a notch. Some of the most mind-stretching and inspiring are those who are philosophical about their work, as well as those who are interdisciplinary in their understanding. Scott Aaronson fits in both camps and shares Read More …

Happy Academic New Year, 2015

June 1, 2015 I was thrilled to start my 3 year tenure as an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow (NSF AAPF) at Caltech. I am therefore declaring June 1 as my official academic New Year. I’m treating this fellowship period as my shot to make a scientific difference, and here’s to the next 3 years. I have an structured routine scheduled, Read More …

Finding earth like planets from the comfort of our own planet

Gravitational lensing results from the fact that General Relativity describes our universe: mass bends light and can function in effect like a lens, bending light in ways that can be used to infer the mass distribution itself. Gravitational microlensing is due to this same effect, but refers to the detection of objects which are of Read More …

Cold dark matter heats up – a review of a review

This is a review of the recent paper, to be published in Nature, by Andrew Potzen and Fabio Governato Cold dark matter heats up. The paper is itself a review, containing information published in previous studies. I gave a presentation about it at our weekly Astrophysics journal club. The figure in the header is M82, Read More …