University of Michigan, Physics Department

High Energy Physics / Astrophysics Seminar Schedule

Winter 2012

Time: Mondays at 4:00 pm

Place: 335 West Hall

Organizers: Michael Schubnell, Junjie Zhu

Information about travel, hotel and seminar can be found here.





January 2012


Reserved for Faculty search committee


Reserved for Faculty search committee


Reserved for Faculty search committee

February 2012


Reserved for Faculty search committee


Christine Aidala (Brookhaven National Laboratory)


Matt Wetstein (University of Chicago)


Spring break

March 2012


Stephane Coutu (Penn State University)

Particle Astrophysics: A Century of Adventure and Discovery

2012 marks the centennial anniversary of the discovery of cosmic rays by Victor Hess. These harbingers of high-energy phenomena in the cosmos have taught us much about the fundamental constituents of the Universe and their interactions, and about the nature of high-energy processes in our Galaxy and beyond. Their continuing saga is fraught with challenges, requiring the devising of  new experimental techniques and theoretical tools to pursue them to ever higher energies, greater sensitivities, improved systematics and the reach for new types of messengers. Modern projects push the state of the art in instrument scales, operational exposures, deployment in remote locations, the need for shielding against backgrounds, and in exploring varied cosmic heralds such as nuclei, electrons, their antimatter counterparts, gamma rays, neutrinos, free neutrons, and as yet undiscovered messengers such as dark matter particles or gravitational waves. We will take a tour through a storied, rich and active field, and highlight recent, continuing and planned efforts.


Peter Shawhan (University of Maryland)

Listening with Ears Wide Open for Gravitational Wave Bursts

The successful operation of the LIGO, GEO600 and Virgo detectors has not yet been rewarded with the detection of a gravitational-wave signal.  Nevertheless, analysis of the data is already providing some constraints on the population and characteristics of sources. Searches for gravitational wave "bursts"--transient signals with arbitrary waveform--are capable of detecting the widest range of possible signals.  I will present and interpret some recent search results, including multi-messenger searches for astrophysical events. I will also share the latest news about building the Advanced Detectors network.




Kendall Mahn (TRIUMF)

Results from the T2K long baseline neutrino experiment

Neutrino oscillations have been observed and confirmed at two mass splittings ($\Delta m^2$), which is consistent with three generations of neutrinos and an unitary mixing (PMNS) matrix. Despite the rapid progress in understanding neutrino oscillations in the last decade, further study of the large mixing in the leptons (as compared to the quark CKM matrix) may give additional insight into the nature of neutrinos. If $\theta_{23}$ is maximal (2$\theta_{23}=90$ degrees) and/or $\theta_{13}=0$, then the PMNS matrix has a symmetry, indicative of underlying physics. If, however, $\theta_{13}$ is non-zero, and sufficiently large,  then a programme to study CP violation with neutrinos is possible, such as the proposed Long Baseline Neutrino experiment in the US (LBNE) or Hyper-Kamiokande experiment in Japan. In this case, CP violation with light neutrinos may have some relationship to the CP violation in the decay of a hypothetical heavy neutrino partner and to the development of the early universe.

The Tokai-To-Kamioka (T2K) long baseline neutrino experiment is designed to precisely measure $\nu_{\mu}$ disappearance ($\Delta m^2_{23}$, $\theta_{23}$) and search for $\nu_e$ appearance ($\theta_{13}$). A beam of muon neutrinos is generated at the J-PARC facility in Tokai-mura, Japan, and is sampled by two near detectors, ND280 and INGRID, before reaching the Super-Kamiokande detector, 295km away. This talk will report updated results from T2K on $\nu_{\mu}$ disappearance and $\nu_e$ appearance. Future prospects for T2K and long baseline neutrino physics will also be discussed.

April 2012


Sarah Eno (University of Maryland)

Searching for Supersymmetry in the all hadronic channel at CMS.

In this talk, I review the four different searches for r-parity conserving supersymmetry in events containing jets and missing transverse energy using data taken during 2010 by the CMS detector at CERN operating at a center-of-mass energy of 7 TeV.  I will also review the performance of missing transverse energy for the CMS detector.




Thomas Gadfort (BNL)

Latest ATLAS search results


John Hobbs (Stony Brook)

New W boson mass at D0