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Astrophysics Seminars


The CASS Astrophysics Seminar features world-class astrophysicists from around the world speaking on current topics of research. Presentations are aimed at the graduate and post-graduate level, but are open to the general public. CASS seminars take place on Wednesdays from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. in 383 SERF (Marlar Seminar Room), unless otherwise noted. You can watch a live stream of the talk or prior talks at the CASS Seminar YouTube Channel. The seminar organizer is Prof. Karin Sandstrom.

Upcoming Seminars

November 13, 2019

 "Decoding Galaxy Formation Physics with the UniverseMachine"

Peter Behroozi
Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy
University of Arizona

 I discuss new methods that allow computers to recover the underlying physics of galaxy formation using only galaxy observations and dark matter simulations, and show how these methods have already changed our understanding of galaxy formation physics (including why galaxies stop forming stars). Basic extensions to the same techniques allow constraining internal galaxy processes, including coevolution between galaxies and supermassive black holes as well as time delays for supernova / GRB progenitors. Finally, I discuss how these methods will benefit from the enormous amount of upcoming data in widefield (HETDEX, LSST, Euclid, WFIRST) and targeted (JWST, GMT) observations, as well as ways they can benefit observers, including making predictions for future telescopes (especially JWST) and testing which of many possible targeted observations would best constrain galaxy formation physics.

November 20, 2019

 "The effect of thermal tides on Earth's rotation rate"

Norman Murray
Professor, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA)
University of Toronto

 I will discuss the spin history of Earth, including Lunar and Solar ocean tides, and the Solar thermal tide. I will describe the physics of the thermal tide. Then, using geologic and paleontological data, I will show that the thermal tide on Earth has had a significant and clearly detected effect on the length of day, a possibility first discussed by Kelvin. If there is sufficient time, I will briefly describe how thermal tides can prevent planets from becoming tidally locked to their host stars; Venus may provide an example. I will also describe work showing that this is true even for planets with much less massive atmospheres than that of Venus, including planets similar to Earth.

December 4, 2019

Simeon Bird
Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
UC Riverside

December 11, 2019

K. Decker French
Hubble Fellow
Carnegie Observatories

Winter 2020

January 15, 2020

Dave Stegman
Associate Professor of Geophysics

January 22, 2020

Rebecca Bernstein
Staff Astronomer
Carnegie Observatories

January 29, 2020

Allison Strom
Postdoctoral Fellow
Carnegie Observatories

February 12, 2020

Mirko Krumpe
Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP)

February 19, 2020

Manoj Kaplinghat
Professor of Physics & Astronomy
UC Irvine

February 26, 2020

Gabriela Canalizo
Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
UC Riverside