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Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 3:00pm
Physical Sciences Building, 401 PSB
245 East Avenue
Devilish Details in Cosmic Microwave Background Maps
Abstract: Measuring close to half the sky with arcminute resolution in intensity and polarization in a number of microwave bands opens up a number of opportunities for understanding the universe and its ingredients. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is making such maps now; the Simons Observatory (SO) plans to make deeper maps soon; and CMB-S4 proposes even deeper maps later. One goal is the search for light relic particles which would increase the radiation energy density over that expected from the known photons and neutrinos. Another is to measure the sum of the neutrino masses, and a third is to improve our understanding of the cosmological model, including its expansion history. Smaller deeper maps can be searched for the imprint of gravitational waves. I will describe these searches, report on the current statuses, and mention forecasted improvements.
BIO: Suzanne Staggs received her Ph.D in physics from Princeton University in 1993, and her B.A. in physics from Rice University in 1987. Her thesis advisor was David Wilkinson, after whom the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe was named. After two years as a Hubble Fellow at the University of Chicago, she joined the faculty at Princeton, where she is currently the Henry deWolf Smyth Professor of Physics. Her postdoctoral mentor was Steve Meyer. Her research focus is the experimental study of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, including exploration of its polarization properties and fine-scale angular anisotropies. She is currently the PI of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) project, a fellow at the APS, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was a member of the joint NSF and DOE Concept Definition Team for the CMB Stage IV project. She is a founding member of the Simons Observatory (SO).