Two CCAPPers answering questions from students

Breakfast of Science Champions Followup - Science Day

December 10, 2015

The Science Day program provides professional growth for classroom teachers with development of hands-on strategies for teaching through direct collaboration with scientists and engaging students in various hands-on "laboratories".

CCAPP visited Innis Elementary school as a followup to The Breakfast of Science Champions.

Paul Sutter and Wayne Schlingman

Mars is Calling

November 18, 2015

What would it be like to play football on Mars? How would TBDBITL sound? Could we watch it on ESPN? Would Brutus' costume catch fire? Planetarium Director Wayne Schlingman and Astrophysicist Paul Sutter tackle our queries.

Visit the ASC Website for the video and more on Mars...

Students explore simulated comets

Breakfast of Science Champions

November 4, 2015

CCAPP along with CEM and departments of Astronomy and Physics, hosted Columbus middle school students for this year's Breakfast of Science Champions event. Students visited the Physics Research Building and attended various sessions to learn about gravity and the Universe.


The Breakfast of Science Champions offers Columbus City middle school students the opportunity to explore science, math, and engineering at The Ohio State University in a program designed especially for them.


OSU STEM Outreach

Sega talking on camera

Astronaut's amazing moments inspire OSU students

October 15, 2015

Who better to get students excited about space exploration than former astronaut and Ohio State grad Dr. Ron Sega? He talked about space travels, and encouraged students to build a foundation in math and science. Sega said his mission is to encourage the next generation of scientists.

Watch the NBC4 video clip...

How neutrinos, which barely exist, just ran off with another Nobel Prize

October 6, 2015

Auther John Beacom: "Neutrinos take patience. They're worth it, and the announcement of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics recognizes that, following related prizes in 1988, 1995 and 2002. Ironically, these near-undetectable particles can reveal things that cannot be seen any other way.

I could begin by telling you that neutrinos are elementary particles, but that sounds condescending. They're not called elementary because they're easy to understand - they aren't - but because they are seemingly point-like in size, and we can't break them down into smaller constituents. There's no such thing as half a neutrino."

Read the Full Article

We saw 'The Martian' with three scientists who know a thing or two about Mars

October 4, 2015

The Dispatch science reporter watched the movie with three space scientists -- Paul Sutter, an Ohio State University astrophysicist; Wayne Schlingman, director of the OSU planetarium; and Anna Nierenberg, a post-doctoral fellow at OSU's Center of Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics. All three said they loved the movie. There were some issues, however, with the science.

Read the Full Dispatch Article

New Research Explores Why The Universe Is Dying

August 10, 2015

An international team of astronomers says new data show energy output measured across more than 200,000 galaxies is only about half as strong as it was 2 billion years ago. Scientists point to this latest study as further evidence that the universe is slowly dying.

John Beacom, a physicist and astronomer at Ohio State University, told NPR that before this comprehensive study, there was always the possibility that scientists didn't have the full picture of how the universe was changing. "This pretty much closes the case: Yes, it's coming to an end," he says.

    NPR Article
    NPR Listen
    Wired Magazine Article
    USA Today Article

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OSC Summer Institute

June 28, 2015

Sponsored in part by CCAPP, Annika Peter and Don Terndrup, the Ohio Supercomputer Center Summer Institute (SI) is a two-week residential program that gives gifted Ohio high school students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year project-based, hands-on learning. Working in small peer teams, the students use supercomputers for practical applications such as solving complex science and engineering problems, conducting network forensics to catch hackers, studying the spread of the bird flu and designing computer games.

This summer, the OSC SI students put together the following interactive animation on orbiting planetoids. Click the mouse to add objects to the system and click and drag it to give it a kick in a particular direction:

"We (Chris Orban and Annika Peter) are really proud of what the students were able to accomplish. The students did a really phenomenal job. ...we got a great group of students who worked well with each other. They created an impressive product. Especially given that only one of them had taken calculus and AP physics before."

Check out the NBC 4i news segment on the OSC's role in the Nepal earthquake and the Summer Institute. "Ohio Will Build a New Supercomputer for Research Education"

More About OSC SI Program...

Kavli Foundation Roundtable on DES Dwarf Candidates and Dark Matter

June 24, 2015

CCAPP Alumna, Andrea Albert, now currently a postdoc at SLAC National Accelerator Lab, was featured along with Alex Drlica-Wagner and Josh Frieman in a roundtable discussion on the new dwarf candidates from DES.

"...These miniature galaxies - the first discovered in a decade - shine with a mere billionth of our galaxy's brightness and each contains a million times less mass. Astronomers believe the vast majority of material in dwarf galaxies is dark matter, a mysterious substance composing about 80 percent of all matter in the universe. Dwarf galaxies have therefore emerged as prime targets for gathering potential clues about dark matter's composition..."

Read the Full Article...

Space In Your Face Logo

Space in Your Face!

June 9, 2015

A weekly video about topics of the Universe launched this week on YouTube, featuring OSU Planetarium Director Wayne Schlingman and CCAPP Postdoc Paul Sutter.

"The Arches Cluster is one of the most massive star forming regions in our entire galaxy, which means there are tons of really really bright stars...those bright ones are extremely our night sky would be bright, wow you could like read at night...although we'd probably be dead, because these really big stars, they don't live very long, and they explode after just a few million years...and that would not be very good for us..."

YouTube: "Space in Your Face"

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New CCAPP Hires

June 8, 2015

CCAPP is excited to welcome three new postdocs this fall! They are all excellent fits to the interests of many members of the department and CCAPP, and we are confident that they will serve as catalysts for many exciting science projects.

Katie Auchettl (presently finishing her PhD at Monash while working at Harvard CfA), who works on supernova remnants and high-energy astronomy.

Jordan Hanson (presently a postdoc at Kansas), who works on experimental high-energy neutrino astronomy.

Tim Linden (presently a postdoc at Chicago), who works on dark matter, galaxy properties, and binary stars. For Linden's first year, he will transfer his Einstein Fellowship.

John Beacom

Astrophysicist Appointed to Editorial Board of Physical Review Letters

May 10, 2015

John Beacom, professor, physics and astronomy, has been appointed to the Editorial Board of Physical Review Letters, the world's leading physics letters journal, operated and published by the American Physical Society. He will serve as a divisional associate editor for astrophysics, 2015-18. Term-appointed editors assist with article review processes, represent the interests of their research communities and help shape the scientific policy of the journal. Two other Ohio State physicists, Ulrich Heinz (while at CERN) and David Stroud, have previously served as divisional associate editors for Physical Review Letters.

(Full list of board members)

Scott Adams and Kenny Ng

CCAPP Students Awarded Presidential Fellowships

April 27, 2015

Scott Adams and Kenny Ng were named as Presidential Fellows by the Graduate School. This is "the most prestigious award given by the Graduate School to recognize the outstanding scholarly accomplishments and potential of graduate students entering the final phase of their dissertation research." Scott studies the deaths of massive stars and is surveying nearby galaxies for stars vanishing to form a black hole without a luminous supernova. Kenny is interested in using astrophysical systems to probe new particle physics, and is currently studying the interactions between cosmic rays and the Sun.


BTN LiveBIG features CCAPP Postdoc Research

April 20, 2015

Inspired by their experiences in college and elsewhere, these Pathfinders are passing by the typical, well-trod career paths and blazing their own trails. We'll explore the unconventional approaches these Big Ten alums and faculty are taking to work.

It's nature's greatest fireworks display: the supernova death of a bright, rare supergiant Wolf-Rayet star -- already several hundred times larger in diameter than our own sun -- which sends white-hot astroparticles flying millions of miles in multiple directions at close to the speed of light.

For Mauricio Bustamante, a postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State's Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (CCAPP), that sheer magnitude is fascinating. He spends much of his time studying gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the largest explosions in the universe, via simulations of those levels of energy release.

Read the full BTN LiveBIG Article...

Artist's view of a gamma-ray
burst. Credit: NASA

Cosmic debris: Study looks inside the universe's most powerful explosions

April 10, 2015

A new study provides an inside look at the most powerful explosions in the universe: gamma-ray bursts. These rare explosions happen when extremely massive stars go supernova. The stars' strong magnetic fields channel most of the explosion's energy into two powerful plasma jets, one at each magnetic pole. The jets spray energetic particles for light-years in both directions, at close to light speed.

Mauricio Bustamante, a Fellow of the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics at Ohio State, explained that the new computer model is a natural outgrowth of recent findings in astroparticle physics, such as the first confirmed cosmic neutrinos detected at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole in 2013.

Read the Full Article: OSU Press Release
DESY, Germany Press Release
Penn State Press Release

OSC's New Supercomputer, Ruby Cluster Dedicated

April 9, 2015

Along with the CCAPP Director John Beacom and Science Board member Annika Peter, the Ohio Board of Regents Chencellor John Carey and Ohio State Vice President for Research Caroline Whitacre, as well as other dignitaries helped unveil the Ohio Supercomputer Center's (OSC's) new Ruby supercomputer on April 9, 2015 at the State of Ohio Computer Center on Ohio State's West Campus.

The Ruby Cluster is a 4800-core Intel Xeon processor-based machine with a theoretical peak performance of 144 teraFLOPS, tech-speak for 144 trillion calculations per second. CCAPP is one of two research groups that co-own Ruby with the OSC. This new facility will enable CCAPP researchers to better connect theoretical models to observations of astrophysical processes and objects.

Many thanks to Annika Peter for spearheading the CCAPP partnership with OSC, and to CCAPP and CCAPP faculty who contributed funds to make this possible.

The supercomputer system is named after Ruby Dee, an American actress, playwright, screenwriter, activist, poet and journalist. She was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in New York's Harlem neighborhood. She is perhaps best known for starring in the 1961 film and subsequent stage production of A Raisin in the Sun. Dee and her husband, Ossie Davis, were very active in the Civil Rights Movement, participating in marches and speaking out for racial equality.

Read more about the dedication: "Chancellor helps OSC dedicate Ruby Cluster"

More about CCAPP Condo on Ruby Cluster...

Duets in the College of Arts and Sciences

March 6, 2015

Married couples working for the Ohio State University, including CCAPP's Faculty Annika Peter and Chris Hirata, are featured sharing their stories in this inspirational book on Scribd.

Couples answer questions like "How did you meet?", and "Pros and cons of both working at Ohio State together?", as well as discuss their research.

"A duet is a composition for two voices or instruments. And just as a musical composer weaves melodies and shades of tones to create a melodious whole, these academic couples work to combine their professional and private lives to achieve a harmonious result. Unlike musical harmony, the harmony of two demanding scientific careers lacks fixed and clear contours, and searching for harmony is not always a straightforward endeavor."

Read the full Scribd Article: Duets in the College of Arts and Sciences

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Ohio State Astrophysicist Launches Podcast

January 26, 2015

Paul Sutter, a postdoc at Ohio State's Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, just launched a new podcast called "Ask a Spaceman!" People curious about space, astronomy, and astrophysics can post questions on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #AskASpaceman. Paul will answer the questions in a lighthearted, conversational way. The first two episodes are already available on iTunes and cover the topics of Pluto's status as a planet and the physics of falling into a black hole. -- > Read more:

Paul Sutter's Facebook:
Paul Sutter's Science Website:
Ask a Spaceman iTunes:!

WAMC Northeast Public Radio Broadcast: Academic Minute Segment, "Cosmological Nothingness"

Newark Advocate: "Local astrophysicist starts 'Ask a Spaceman!' podcast"

Astronomer David Weinberg Wins Lancelot M. Berkeley Prize

January 14, 2015

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) awarded David H. Weinberg, the Henry L. Cox Professor in Astronomy and Distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the Lancelot M. Berkeley New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy. It recognizes "highly meritorious work in advancing the science of astronomy during the previous year." Weinberg studies the large-scale structure of the universe, dark energy and dark matter, the formation and evolution of galaxies and quasars and the intergalactic medium. Weinberg was honored for leading contributions to SDSS-III, the third phase of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which has made dramatic advances in measuring the structure of the Milky Way galaxy and the history of the accelerating expansion of the universe.

TEDx event picture with photos of this year's speakers

TEDx -- The Human Narrative

January 9, 2015

Just two speakers left to reveal for this year's TEDx Ohio State University event on Saturday February 14, 2015, and one of them is Dr. John Beacom!

Dr. Beacom is an internationally-known researcher in physics and astronomy, a popular teacher of introductory courses, and a leader in making scientific advances accessible to non-scientists. He is a Professor in the Ohio State Departments of Physics and Astronomy, as well as the Director of their joint Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP).

His research focuses on neutrinos- almost massless and almost non-interacting particles that pervade the Universe and that can reveal hidden wonders. Such wonders include the core of the Sun, stars that implode, and black holes that are gobbling away (trillions of neutrinos passed invisibly through your eyes as you read that sentence). He has won both the Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award and the Ohio State Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. He frequently makes or hosts presentations on science to audiences ranging from children to retirees. He commutes by bicycle year-round, does not own a cell phone, and claims to see neutrinos.

Actual SDSS g-band image

'Assassin' Targets Supernovae in our Neighborhood of the Universe

January 8, 2015

"Project's success spawns a new effort to study other local sky events. While many astronomical collaborations use powerful telescopes to target individual objects in the distant universe, a new project at The Ohio State University is doing something radically different: using small telescopes to study a growing portion of the nearby universe all at once."

Read the EurekAlert! Article...

Read the OSU Press Release...

students in small group discussion

Breakfast of Science Champions - Followup Lunch Discussion

December 18, 2014

CCAPP hosted fifty Starling Middle school students for a followup event to The Breakfast of Science Champions, bringing them back to campus for a Planetarium showing and up close and personal discussion with real world scientists about what it means to pursue science as a career.

One of the many themes during the pre-visit and the BoSC itself was the idea of scale, for which they specifically discussed sizes and distances in the Solar System and sizes of stars found throughout the Universe. Then, the students were able to mold their own clay cosmic webs, representing "The biggest thing in the universe!"

cover of Sky and Telescope Feb 2015 issue

Into the Void -- Sky & Telescope Magazine

December 4, 2014

The latest issue of Sky & Telescope (Feb 2015), author Marcus Woo walks readers through the science of . . . nothing. Featuring research of postdoc Paul Sutter and his work on cosmic voids.

"Empty space makes up most of the universe by volume, and though most astronomers are drawn to light, it's in these blackest of voids where we can potentially learn the most about dark energy, dark matter, and the growth of galaxies."

"Space is Pretty Empty. And Paul Sutter likes empty. He likes it so much, in fact, that he spends his time exploring the most barren regions of the universe, vast gaps known as cosmic voids."

Read the Beyond the Printed Page Article: "Flying Through Cosmic Voids"
Read the digital Sky & Telescope Article: "Into the Void"
Paul Sutter's Science Website:

Mauricio Bustamante

The Physics behind the Movie "Interstellar"

November 28, 2014

CCAPP fellow, Mauricio Bustamante, was interviewed on the subject of the physics of time dilation, black holes, and wormholes behind the recent movie "Interstellar". The interview, in Spanish, was published on PuntoEdu, the news portal of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

Read the full article: "Can you travel through time and space in a wormhole?"

clay cosmic webs in progress on table

COSI Planetarium Grand Re-Opening

November 22, 2014

CCAPP Postdoc, Paul Sutter, along with other CCAPP researchers helped attendees of the planetarium grand re-opening event with a make-your-own clay cosmic web activity.

The new COSI Planetarium -- the largest in Ohio -- features state-of-the-art digital technology that offers an unsurpassed glimpse of our incredible universe. For all who wonder, who question, who dream, your window to the universe is now open at COSI.

More about the COSI Planetarium:

Paul Zivick

Testing gravity using cosmic voids

November 20, 2014

Astrophysicists have long searched for ways to find cracks in Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, and thanks to OSU undergraduate Paul Zivick, his advisor Paul Sutter, and an international team of researchers, they have a new avenue available to them.


In a paper recently submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Zivick and collaborators outlined how the properties of cosmic voids - the large, empty regions that fill up most of the universe - can provide constraints on modified gravity theories. These theories must agree with predictions from General Relativity in high-density environments in order to pass stringent tests, but in low-density regions like voids the differences between the theories are much larger.


Zivick's work predicted that upcoming galaxy surveys will be able to distinguish modified gravity models better with voids than with traditional probes.


More details can be found in the journal article:

Gisella deRosa shows students how to cook up a comet

Breakfast of Science Champions

November 13, 2014

CCAPP along with departments of Astronomy and Physics, hosted Columbus middle school students for this year's Breakfast of Science Champions event. Students visited the newly renovated Astronomy planetarium and attended various sessions to learn about gravity and the Universe.


The Breakfast of Science Champions offers Columbus City Schools middle school students the opportunity to explore science, math, and engineering at The Ohio State University in a program designed especially for them.


OSU STEM Outreach

ASASSN-14ae: A Tidal Disruption Event at 200 Mpc

October 23, 2014

ASAS-SN (All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae) paper "ASASSN-14ae: A Tidal Disruption Event at 200 Mpc" led by OSU astronomy graduate student Tom Holoien is subject to OSU press release: "Lucky Star Escapes Black Hole With Minor Damage"

Tidal disruption events are very rare, happening only every 10,000 to 100,000 years in any given galaxy, so it was surpising that ASAS-SN has already discovered one, only few months into operation.

Read the full OSU Press Release...

Learn more about ASAS-SN...

Trillian Project Gets Support from Mozilla ScienceLab

October 9, 2014

Trillian is a new project that aims to be an all-sky, multi-wavelength computational engine for astronomy data. It was selected to be one of the research projects for the Mozilla ScienceLab's Collaborate on Software for Science (, an initiative to bring together software developers and designers and researchers to build new tools for science that was launched on October 9, 2014. This partnership will result in a contribution of developer resources to help build Trillian. Development is also being provided by the DAT project ( to help design and build the data access pipeline required in creating a multi-terabyte, distributed astronomical data repository.


Trillian was designed by Demitri Muna and Eric Huff and is supported by CCAPP; more information about Trillian can be found here: and

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New CCAPP Hires

October 1, 2014

CCAPP is excited to welcome four new postdocs this fall! Looking forward to a great year.

Ashley Ross joins us from the University of Portsmouth, UK. This is his second postdoc and works on observational cosmology using large scale structure data analysis.

Adi Zolotov joins us from Hebrew University, Isreal. This is her second postdoc and her research interests are on near field cosmology, galaxy formation and galaxy simulation.

Anna Nierenberg joins us from the Universit of California, Santa Barbara. This is her first postdoc and studies satellite galaxies as a test of galaxy formation and the nature of dark matter.

Mauricio Bustamante joins us from University of Wuerzburg and DESY. This is his first postdoc and his research interests are on new physics, ultra high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos.

Paul Zivick

SURP Researcher Discusses His Research

September 26, 2014

Paul Zivick was accepted into this year's Astronomy Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), working with faculty Paul Martini and postdoc Paul Sutter on observable characteristics of cosmic voids. He was interviewed about his research interests and experience.

Check out his Arts and Sciences' research profile and responses to some interesting questions...

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Twelve CCAPP alumni starting permanent-track jobs this year

September 1, 2014

One of the goals of CCAPP is to train the next generation of scientists in research as well as the skills needed for success in such a career. This is a huge year in terms how many of our graduate student and postdoc alumni are starting permanent-track jobs at universities and laboratories: twelve! That's nine former postdocs and three former students, and includes several people who held other postdoc jobs since leaving here.

The list below is just those who are starting their jobs this year. Over the past several years, many more of the alumni of CCAPP, Physics, and Astronomy have gone on to permanent-track jobs.

Basudeb Dasgupta (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India)
Tim Eifler (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Shunsaku Horiuchi (Virginia Tech)
Stelios Kazantzidis (University of Athens, Greece)
Kohta Murase (Pennsylvania State University)
Chris Orban (Ohio State University, Marion)
Molly Peeples (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Mat Pieri (Aix-Marseille University, France)
Jose Prieto (Universidad Diego Portales, Chile)
Eduardo Rozo (University of Arizona)
Hee-Jong Seo (Ohio University)
Mike Stamatikos (Ohio State University, Newark)


We're very proud of them, and wish the best for their continued success!

Graduate Student Wins Presentation Awards

August 28, 2014

Congratulations to Shirley Li, who was one of the winners of the 2014 Physics department PGSC poster competition. Her poster was on her work calculating cosmic-ray muon induced backgrounds in the neutrino detector Super-Kamiokande.

Shirley was also part of a small group that was awarded the best student project at 2014 SLAC Summer Institute "Shining Light on Dark Matter." Their project was to constrain the density slope at the Milky Way center.

ASAS-SN Discovers its 50th Nearby Supernova

August 22, 2014

One of the major goals of the ASAS-SN project is to produce a complete census of bright, nearby supernovae. In the last few months, using four 14-cm diameter telescopes in Hawaii and two such telescopes in Chile (this expansion was funded mostly by CCAPP), ASAS-SN has been finding about 10 bright (V < 17) supernovae per month. That may not seem like much, compared to more than 1000 SNe found every year, but ASAS-SN is now finding more than half of the brightest SNe. On August 12, ASAS-SN discovered its 50th supernova (33rd since May 1st, 2014), which was annouced via an Astronomer's Telegram . The first author of this telegram is an amateur astronomer from France, Joel Nicolas, whose 41-cm telescope was used to confirm the presence of the supernova. In steady-state, ASAS-SN will likely discover about 100 bright supernovae per year, all of them (and their host galaxies) easily studied with relatively small, 1-4 meter class telescopes.

Read more about ASAS-SN here

The Weight of Nothingness

August 22, 2014

The existence of voids, almost entirely empty regions of the cosmic web, has been confirmed by several spectroscopic surveys in the past years. But so far, nobody knew how empty voids really are. By using a technique called gravitational lensing, an international team led by Ohio State CCAPP astrophysicists Peter Melchior and Paul Sutter inferred the mass inside voids - or rather: the absence thereof. This unprecedented measurement confirms earlier predictions and opens a new line of research that will provide insights in how gravity acts on cosmological scales.

Learn more at Nautilus and Oxford Journals

Cosmology for the People

August 22, 2014

The universe is really, really big, so simulations of the universe must also be really, really big. The latest, run by a team including Ohio State CCAPP astrophysicist Paul Sutter, followed the evolution of over 1 trillion particles of dark matter. It's one of the largest simulations ever performed, and you can visit it. The team created a website devoted to the simulation. The site has both a scientific and a public side, where people can view visualizations of the data or fly through the simulation. With such large simulations, cosmologists can prepare for upcoming galaxy surveys, and comparing this simulation to the real universe helps scientists understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Learn more at Symmetry Magazine and Arxiv

The Measure of Nothing

August 22, 2014

At the largest scales the universe looks like an enormous spider web, with long rope-like filaments, dense clumps of galaxies, and vast empty regions called voids. Ohio State CCAPP astrophysicist Paul Sutter and an international team of collaborators have developed a method to find these voids, and they made a surprising discovery: voids obey a simple mathematical equation. This formula describes the properties of all voids, no matter their size, location, or age. Since voids can now be described by such a simple equation, they offer a brand new way to test theories of cosmology and to help understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Learn more at APS and InsideScience

dimly lit versus brightly lit

CCAPP Faculty, David Weinberg Quoted in ScienceDaily

Something is Amiss in the Universe: Cosmic Accounting Reveals Missing Light Crisis

July 8, 2014

Something is amiss in the Universe. There appears to be an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light in the cosmic budget. The vast reaches of empty space between galaxies are bridged by tendrils of hydrogen and helium, which can be used as a precise 'light meter.' In a recent study a team of scientists finds that the light from known populations of galaxies and quasars is not nearly enough to explain observations of intergalactic hydrogen. The difference is a stunning 400 percent.

"The great thing about a 400% discrepancy is that you know something is really wrong," commented co-author David Weinberg of The Ohio State University. "We still don't know for sure what it is, but at least one thing we thought we knew about the present day universe isn't true."

Read the full ScienceDaily Article...

New Faculty Members in OSU/CCAPP

June 17, 2014

Adam Leroy and Laura Lopez have separately accepted OSU faculty offers in Astronomy. They will each be members of CCAPP. Adam starts in January 2015 and Laura in Autumn 2015. Adam's research is on star formation and the interstellar medium in galaxies. Laura's research is on supernovae and their remnants, star formation, and the interstellar medium. We look forward to welcoming them and to their contributions to our astrophysics community.

DES looks at massive galaxy clusters - and finds filaments

May 30, 2014

With data from the new DECam imager, the Dark Energy Survey provides additional clues that galaxy clusters are not isolated objects on the sky but are connected with the cosmic web via filaments.

These scientists are the primary authors of this work. Peter Melchior (Ohio State), Eric Suchyta (Ohio State), Eric Huff (Ohio State), Michael Hirsch (U College London). Tomasz Kacprzak (Manchester), Eli Rykoff (SLAC), Daniel Gruen (University Observatory and MPE Munich).

Read the full article Fermilab Today.

Awesome circle around galaxy image

Keeping things awesome on the Dark Energy Survey

May 1, 2014

Scientists stay inspired in their sometimes tedious task of inspecting photographs taken in the Dark Energy Survey's ambitious cataloging of one-eighth of the sky. Physicists working on the Dark Energy Survey can expect to pull many an all-nighter. The international collaboration of more than 120 scientists aims to take about 100,000 photographs peering deep into the night sky. Scientists must personally review many of these photos to make sure the experiment is working well, and they've come up with ways to stay motivated while doing so.

Two of the DES researchers, Erin Sheldon of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Peter Melchior of OSU/CCAPP, created the DES Exposure Checker, an online gallery of images from the telescope.

Read the full article Symmetry Online.


DECam the "focus" of Physics Today cover

April 14, 2014

Every night, on a mountain top high in the Chilean Andes, a new instrument images a portion of the southern sky collecting light emitted by distant galaxies billions of years ago. A team of physicists and astronomers from Ohio State University collaborated with more than a hundred scientists from three continents to build and operate DECam, the Dark Energy Camera. DECam is a large 570 Megapixel camera with 74 custom designed CCDs and a record setting field of view, covering in a single exposure an area of the sky 20 times the size of the full moon as seen from earth. The tools used by the observers to operate DECam, the data acquisition system and the software to monitor and record the status of the instrument were all created by the OSU team led by Prof. Klaus Honscheid.

DECam is used by the Dark Energy Survey collaboration to probe the origin of the accelerating expansion of the universe. This five-year program is designed to uncover the nature of dark energy and to determine whether Einstein's general relativity is valid on the largest scales. The exquisite image quality and operational efficiency required for these studies were demonstrated and optimized during a 10-month science verification period co-chaired by Prof. Honscheid. During this effort, DECam imaged more than 150 sq. degrees of the sky in five different filter bands. Led by CCAPP Fellows Melchior and Huff, the analysis of this data sample, the largest of this kind available to date, is ongoing and first results will soon be published.

More information about DECam and the Dark Energy Survey can be found at

The full article is available at Physics Today Online.

Graduate Students Awarded Fellowships

April 1, 2014

Congratulations to Khalida Hendricks and Tom Holoien who recently have been awareded graduate student fellowhips!

Khalida won the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), which is a program that recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF's mission. The GRFP provides three years of support for graduate education.
[Learn More about the Fellowship]

Tom won the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) , which provides outstanding benefits and opportunities to students pursuing doctoral degrees in fields that use high-performance computing to solve complex science and engineering problems. The DOE CSGF provides four years of support for graduate education.
[Learn More about the Fellowship]

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OSU Campus Campaign

Dear CCAPP members and friends,

The 2014 Campus Campaign is on until 30 April. When you are considering university and department funds to invest in, I encourage you to help CCAPP expand its student- and public-oriented activities.

Thanks in part to generous contributions from donors like yourself, we have been able to increase such activities, and we are eager to do more like the following:

+ Graduate education: providing funds to help make it possible for graduate students to attend conferences where they present their work.
+ Public lectures: bringing internationally-known experts like our recent visitors Lloyd Knox to Ohio State to give lectures and interact with students.
+ Outreach: hosting events for young people like the Breakfast of Science Champions for middle-schoolers.

Donating is easy and tax-deductible. Just click the Give Now button below, or if you're an OSU employee and would like to give via payroll deduction, please search for CCAPP in the Campus Campaign web page.

We are grateful for the generosity of those who have already donated. Even modest donations help financially and send a message to the university about appreciation of CCAPP activities.

Thank you for your consideration. We welcome hearing ideas for new initiatives.

Best regards,
John Beacom
(CCAPP Director)

2014 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching

March 7, 2014

Todd Thompson was surprised today in Astronomy Coffee by President Alutto and others, who presented him with the 2014 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. Todd kept his wits about him and made some great remarks about how the collaborative, student-focused culture of the Astronomy Department and help from other faculty were essential to his success in teaching. Congratulations to Todd on this important and well-deserved award!

The Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching honors a maximum of ten faculty members for their teaching excellence. Recipients are nominated by present and former students and colleagues and are chosen by a committee of alumni, students, and faculty. They receive a cash award of $3000, made possible by contributions from the Alumni Association, friends of Ohio State, and the Office of Academic Affairs. They also receive a $1,200 increase in their base salaries from the Office of Academic Affairs. The recipients will be inducted into the university's Academy of Teaching, which provides leadership for the improvement of teaching at Ohio State.

Q&A with an Astrophysicist from Stanford's Particle Accelerator

March 4, 2014

Former CCAPP Grad student, Andrea Albert hung out at Gizmodo for an afternoon and answered questions from anybody who has them. Curious about dark matter? Got questions about gamma rays? Ever wonder what a particle accelerator smells like?

See her responses on Gizmodo

Student looking through telescope in hallway

Breakfast of Science Champions for Astronomy

February 19, 2014

CCAPP co-hosted with Astronomy two classes of eighth grade students from Berwick and Dominion Columbus city schools on OSU's campus to learn about science through a series of hands-on activities to get them excited about a career in science, math or engineering. Students spent the morning on campus enjoying breakfast with faculty, researchers and graduate students from Physics and Astronomy, gave them a planetarium show, and led them in four activities designed to teach them about astronomy and the type of work that professional astronomers do.

Prior to the event, select researchers also did pre-visits to the two schools to introduce the students to the concepts they would be learning more about at the actual event and get them excited for their visit.

Astronomy/CCAPP Event Pictures
Read more about Breakfast of Science Champions

CCAPP Faculty Wins Top Prize for Young Astronomers

January 15, 2014

Christopher Hirata, professor of astronomy and physics, received this year's Helen B. Warner Prize for observational or theoretical research from the American Astronomical Society - the premier award for young astronomers. Hirata is cited for his remarkable cosmological studies, particularly his observational and theoretical work on weak gravitational lensing, one of the most important tools for assessing the distribution of mass in the universe. His work on cosmological recombination, structure formation, and dark energy and cosmic acceleration, and the extraordinary depth of understanding he brings to these subjects is facilitating the next generation of important cosmological experiments.

About the AAS Warner Prize
OSU Arts and Sciences News Release
OnCampus Article

A One-Percent Measure of the Universe

January 8, 2014

Researchers from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) that include CCAPP scientists announced this week that they have measured the distances to galaxies more than six billion light-years away to an unprecedented accuracy of just one percent. The measurements utilized so-called "baryon acoustic oscillations (BAOs)", subtle periodic ripples in the distribution of galaxies, as a standard ruler to measure the cosmic distance to these galaxies. Their measurements place new constraints on the properties of the mysterious "dark energy" thought to permeate empty space, which causes the expansion of the Universe to accelerate. In addition, the team tested the gravity theory at cosmological scales with 10% precision by measuring the velocity fields of the galaxies that were induced by gravity.

Kavli IPMU News Release
SDSSIII New Release

Dark Matter 'Wind' May be Warped by the Sun

January 8, 2014

"As WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) stream through the solar system, the gravitational pull from the sun alters their individual trajectories, changing their direction and speed," says Samuel Lee of Princeton University.

The sun's pull on dark matter is called gravitational focusing, because the sun acts like a lens to focus the paths of WIMPs toward it. The new study suggests the pattern would be strongly affected by the gravitational effects of the sun, which have so far been dismissed as insubstantial.

CCAPP Faculty, Annika Peter collaborated on this with the three researchers from Princeton (Samuel Lee, Ben Safdi, and Mariangela Lisanti).

Scientific American Article
New Scientist Article
American Physical Society Article

CCAPP Faculty Speaks about Supernovae

December 26, 2013

In today's Academic Minute, Dr. Christopher Kochanek of Ohio State University calculates the odds of a visible supernova occurring in the coming decades.

Read more or Listen to the program


John Beacom Named 2013 APS Fellow

December 17, 2013

John Beacom, Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (CCAPP) has been elected as an American Physics Society Fellow for 2013. Each year APS elected fellows number no more than 1/2 of 1% of Society membership. A fellowship election is a distinct honor because the evaluation process, conducted by the Fellowship committees of individual divisions, topical groups and forums, is done entirely by one's professional peers.

Click here to learn more

CCAPP Grad Student Wins Scholarship

November 25, 2013

Rebecca (Becca) Reesman, has been recently awarded the 2013 Bunny and Tom Clark Graduate Student Scholarship. Becca is a student of Professor Terry Walker. Her research focuses on using gamma-rays to probe the extragalactic background light and new physics.

Congratulations Becca!

[Research] Stars Align

November 18, 2013

Unlimited collaborative possibilities at CCAPP attract young faculty researchers like magnets - the latest, a powerhouse couple from Caltech - Christopher Hirata, professor of physics and astronomy; and Annika Peter, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, arrived in August 2013.

"CCAPP has built an extremely strong research program exploiting the synergies at the interface between astronomy and fundamental physics. Annika and Chris embody this idea, reflected in their style of work and in their research on dark matter and dark energy, and I'm sure CCAPP was pivotal in their decision to come to Ohio State." - David Weinberg

"I like that the physics and astronomy departments are so closely connected - my research straddles the line of physics and astronomy, so a lot of places do not know how to classify me, but here, my research interests fall squarely in the research mission of CCAPP. It's nice to fit in!"
- Annika Peter

Read the full ASCENT Article


Possible Visibility of Milky Way Supernova in Next 50 Years

October 31, 2013

Astronomers at The Ohio State University have calculated the odds that, sometime during the next 50 years, a supernova occurring in our home galaxy will be visible from Earth.

The good news: they've calculated the odds to be nearly 100 percent that such a supernova would be visible to telescopes in the form of infrared radiation.

The bad news: the odds are much lower-dipping to 20 percent or less-that the shining stellar spectacle would be visible to the naked eye in the nighttime sky.

Click here to learn more


CCAPP Outreach: STEAM Tailgate

October 19, 2013

John Beacom, Director of CCAPP, did an outreach event on 10/19/13. During the event, Beacom showed demonstrations of universal gravitation in the Oval at OSU. This was a joint effort with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) to put on a tailgate party for the OSU vs. Iowa Football game; Combining fun, food, and physics to provide a good time for public and students alike.


CCAPP Outreach: STEAM Factory

September 28, 2013

John Beacom, Director of CCAPP, did an outreach event on 9/28/2013 at a farmers' market at 400 West Rich, a formerly abandoned warehouse in Franklinton that is being converted into space for artists and tinkerers. The event was put on by STEAM Factory (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), a great group of people. Beacom performed a bunch of demos about gravity and forces and answered questions about physics and astronomy.

Learn more about the event

Learn more about STEAM Factory


Rebecca Reesman Wins LBL TAUP 2013 Poster Contest

September 9, 2013

Rebecca won the theory poster competition at the LBL TAUP2013 summer school, held in Asilomar, CA. The school is for roughly 50 graduate students and postdocs working in particle astrophysics and cosmology. Her poster was on her work on measuring the opacity of the Universe with TeV gamma ray sources.

Learn more about the competition


New CCAPP Hires

Annika Peter is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy. She had previously worked at UC-Irvine before coming to OSU. Her research focus is theoretical particle astrophysics, especially dark matter.

Chris Hirata is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy. He had recently worked at Caltech before coming to OSU. He is currently studying problems dealing with dark energy, and hopes to tie dark energy to fundamental theories of the universe.

Hee-Jong Seo has accepted a CCAPP Fellow position with Professor Chris Hirata for one year, starting in September 2013. She was previously at Berkeley, and will be starting a faculty position at Ohio University at the end of her year with CCAPP. Her research interests are in Large-Scale Structure and Cosmology.

Jonathan Blazek has accepted is a CCAPP Fellow position with Professor Chris Hirata, starting in October 2013. He was previously at Berkeley. His research interests are in Large-Scale Structure, Cosmology, weak gravitational lensing, and galaxy formation.


CCAPP Outreach: Portal to the Public

Arts and sciences researchers have teamed up with Columbus' COSI (Center of Science and Industry) to introduce current scientific research and its applications to general audiences as part of COSI's new Portal to the Public Initiative.

The Portal to the Public Initiative was launched by Pacific Science Center in 2007 to assist informal science education institutions in bringing scientists and public audiences together and through hands-on activities promote appreciation and understanding of scientific research. The program model was implemented and evaluated at eight museums and science centers during 2007-2011, with support from a National Science Foundation grant. COSI became a Portal to the Public member in spring 2013.

Learn more about Portals to the Public


Dark Energy Survey Begins five-year Mission to Map Southern Sky in
Tremendous Detail

Tonight, as the sun sinks below the horizon, the world's most powerful digital camera will once again turn its gleaming eye skyward. Tonight, and for hundreds of nights over the next five years, a team of physicists and astronomers from around the globe will use this remarkable machine to try to answer some of the most fundamental questions about our universe.

On Aug. 31, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) officially began. Scientists on the survey team will systematically map one-eighth of the sky (5000 square degrees) in unprecedented detail. The start of the survey is the culmination of 10 years of planning, building and testing by scientists from 25 institutions in six countries.

The survey's goal is to find out why the expansion of the universe is speeding up, instead of slowing down due to gravity, and to probe the mystery of dark energy, the force believed to be causing that acceleration.

Read more at Interactions' Website
Or Read the Symmetry Magazine Article


OSU Astronomy has Open Questions Night at Local Bar

On July 29th, the Astronomy Department held Astonomy on Tap, a night of games, fun, and learning at the Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar. Demitri Muna from OSU Astronomy stated, "We had about 40 people show up, and the audience was interested in the talks and had lots of questions for us. I also wanted to thank the astronomers who turned up, who at the end were all brought up on stage to answer random astronomy questions at microphone-point."

The event organizer at the bar was extremely pleased with the turnout and the content and is more than happy to have the event there on a monthly basis.

For more information, or dates on upcoming Astronomy events visit Astronomy on Tap's Facebook Page


CCAPP Reaches Out to Kids

CCAPP Director John Beacom and CCAPP's Todd Thompson spoke at Grandview Heights Kids' Club on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 . "We spoke to two big groups of kids, answering their questions about space, planets, stars, galaxies, the universe, as well as gravity, black holes, the speed of light, and aliens. Even after an hour with each group, we couldn't wear them out. All of their questions were great, and some of them showed detailed knowledge. We also talked about how kids are naturally scientists: they observe, wonder, play with, and test things. That spirit of exploration and experimentation is the foundation of scientific research."

Read more


ASAS-SN Discovers its First Supernova

Even in the present day, only human eyes fully survey the sky for the transient, variable and violent events that are crucial probes of the nature and physics of our Universe. The "All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae" (ASAS-SN or "Assassin") project plans to change this by (eventually) automatically surveying the entire visible sky every night down to about 17th magnitude, more than 10,000 times deeper than human eye.

Recently, on June 6th, 2013 , The ASAS-SN Project discovered its first supernova, and has just discovered another candidate . You can find the image of the first supernova and article in the Astronomers Telegram below.


ASAS-SN Project Homepage


OSU Astronomer Partners with New York Artist

You can find astronomer David Weinberg's research on galaxy clustering, black holes and other cosmological wonders in the Astrophysical Journal and other prestigious publications. For the most part, his students and colleagues know Weinberg as a distinguished professor of mathematical and physical sciences at Ohio State University and a theorist specializing in galaxy formation, among other things.

But Weinberg is a whole lot more than that.

For about a decade, Weinberg has collaborated with glass artist Josiah McElheny on five artistic projects — massive sculptures that depict theoretical cosmic events, such as the Big Bang

Read More


New Dark Energy Survey Photo Blog

What would it be like to peer billions of years into the past, viewing hundreds of millions of galaxies, some billions of light years away? What would it feel like to be part of a team trying to uncover the secrets of our universe?

Starting this week, the Dark Energy Survey team invites you to find out by following their new photo blog, Dark Energy Detectives. The name refers to the DES collaboration's ongoing hunt for the mysterious stuff known as dark energy, according to post-doctoral researcher Brian Nord, who helped design the new site.

Read More

John Beacom

CCAPP Director John Beacom Featured in Article

Scientists speak a different language to present issues, argue points and convey information. B efore many of these equations make it into a research journal or textbook, they are written in marker, chalk or ink. They are scratched out, erased and rewritten until they speak a universal truth backed by laws of mathematics or physics. We wanted to know what it is like to speak this language, to get lost in an equation. So we asked scientists from three Ohio universities to translate. Read More


Credit: NASA/Swift
Skyworks Digital/Dana Berr

Young Intern Co-Authors Paper

While working with Astronomy Grad student Ben Shapee, Alex Talabere, a junior at Metro High School, finished out his internship with CCAPP by being a co-author of the astronomical telegram, "ASAS-SN Discovery of 3 Cataclysmic Variables", along with other scientists from the US, Chile and Poland. The CCAPP internship allowed Alex to contribute to the ongoing ASAS-SN project (All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae). This survey is designed to look for the bright supernovae explosions in the nearby universe. This is the first systematic all-sky search for nearby supernovae. This survey uses four wide-field cameras with 20-cm lenses located in Chile and Hawaii. This project is being conducted to gain insight into the progenitor stars of supernovae, and to allow scientists to make the first complete census and detailed characterization of the brightest supernovae in a volume-limited sample of galaxies. Along the way, ASAS-SN will find many other transient objects, including the new cataclysmic variables that Alex helped discover.

Learn More...


Dark energy coffee

Coffee Drives CCAPP

Since its beginnings, CCAPP scientists have been fueled by tens of thousands of espresso shots, brewed with Luck Bros' Coffee. Locally owned and independently operated, Luck Bros' has recently honored this connection with a special roasting, aptly titled "Dark Energy".

The first iteration of Dark Energy is a blend of Central America coffees roasted to different levels and then combined for a complex and balanced experience of brightness, deep lingering notes of chocolate and caramel, and a rich heavy mouth feel. This versatile blend is a solid choice for brewing espresso or drip coffee and best used for cold brewing. Stop in CCAPP for a tasting, or better yet stop by Luck Bros' and say hi to the originator of Dark Energy, owner Andy Luck.


Super Computer

Researchers celebrate 25 years of using bigger, faster servers to solve mysteries of the universe

April 7, 2013

Chris Orban, an Ohio State University astrophysicist, has used the supercomputer to model theories on how dark matter particles can help form galaxies in an expanding universe. Read Article


Amy Connolly

Physicist's NSF CAREER Award Assists Search for "Ghost" Particles

March 6, 2013

  • Amy Connolly's recent five-year, $650,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will help support her search for high-energy neutrinos, a type of elementary particle, traveling at the speed of light, which can travel cosmological distances unabated, existing all across the universe.

  • These are sometimes called "ghost particles" because they are very hard to find due to their remote chance of ever interacting with regular matter. Only sophisticated experiments can catch and measure their properties.

  • The NSF awards recognize and encourage the careers of exceptional young researchers whose work shows promise of significant ongoing contributions to their fields.

  • The assistant professor of physics joined the department in 2010, "because of the strength of the particle astrophysics group and the Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics."
  •
Spectroscopy graphic

Spectroscopy in 60 sec
(by Honscheid and Huff)

Spectroscopy is a technique that astronomers use to measure and analyze the hundreds of colors contained in the light emitted by stars, galaxies and other celestial objects.

Ordinary telescopes show the directions in which objects are located but offer no information on how far away these objects are.

Spectroscopic surveys make use of the fact that, as light travels to us from distant galaxies, it gets stretched out by the expanding universe and appears redder. By measuring the light spectrum of a galaxy, scientists can determine its redshift and thus its distance.

The largest spectroscopic survey to date is the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, which is being carried out at the Sloan telescope and will record the spectra of 1.5 million galaxies by the time it's completed in 2014. BOSS will offer insight into one of the biggest mysteries of the universe: dark energy, the enigmatic force that has accelerated the universe's expansion over the last 5 billion years.

An even more ambitious spectroscopic survey to measure the redshifts of 20 million galaxies is now being developed. In a few years, when this new spectroscopic survey experiment goes online, we will finally realize the massive scale of cosmic cartography necessary for truly sensitive measurements of dark energy.

NASA's Chandra Shows Milky Way is Surrounded by Halo of Hot Gas
Smita Mathur Quoted (Prof of Astronomy, CCAPP/OSU)

Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to find evidence our Milky Way Galaxy is embedded in an enormous halo of hot gas that extends for hundreds of thousands of light years. The estimated mass of the halo is comparable to the mass of all the stars in the galaxy.

"Our work shows that, for reasonable values of parameters and with reasonable assumptions, the Chandra observations imply a huge reservoir of hot gas around the Milky Way," said co-author Smita Mathur of Ohio State University in Columbus. "It may extend for a few hundred thousand light-years around the Milky Way or it may extend farther into the surrounding local group of galaxies. Either way, its mass appears to be very large."

Read Full Article...

Ohio State Physicist Leads Team in Developing World's Most Powerful Digital Camera - DECam

Klaus Honscheid, professor of physics, led a team that developed the software to run a powerful new camera designed to answer one of the biggest mysteries in physics. The Dark Energy Camera (DECam), located on a mountaintop in Chile, took its first photos of the night sky this week. The camera will help researchers involved in the Dark Energy Survey (DES) to explore why the expansion of the universe is speeding up. Honscheid's team also designed a web-based user interface allowing astronomers to operate DECam from around the world, along with the instrument control system that monitors and records every operating parameter of the camera.
Read Full OSU Article...

The most powerful sky-scanning camera yet built has begun its quest to pin down the mysterious stuff that makes up nearly three-quarters of our Universe.
Read more about DES and its first light:

Dark Energy Camera Snaps First Images Ahead of Survey (BBC)
Dark Energy Telescope Snaps First Cosmic Photos (CBS)
Dark Energy Camera Sees First Light (Discovery News)
Dark Energy Camera, New Mega-Eye on the Sky, Probes Ancient Mystery (Los Angeles Times)
Astrophysicists Get First Images for Dark Energy Camera (R&D)
Dark Matter Survey Camera: Looking Through the Lens (Marketplace Tech Report)

Ice Cream Social with Jill Tarter, Nov 7, 2012

While in Columbus for CCAPP's 6th Annual Biard Lectureship in Cosmology and Astrophysics, Jill Tarter from SETI met with local middle school age kids for an ice cream social and scientific discussion.

In sharing her story and experiences about how she got into searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, her message to the kids was to never stop learning and to always take advantage of opportunities presented to them along the way.

Annika Peter and Chris Hirata Accepted Faculty Positions at OSU/CCAPP

Annika Peter and Chris Hirata have accepted OSU faculty offers in Physics with joint appointments in Astronomy. Their affiliations started in Fall 2012, though their arrivals will not be until about one year later. We have begun integrating them into the scientific life here, including having them visit frequently and we welcomed Annika to the CCAPP Science Board.

Annika's research focus is theoretical particle astrophysics, especially dark matter, and Chris's focus is theoretical cosmology, especially dark energy.
Based on their research interests and their interactive styles, they will each be great matches to Physics, Astronomy, and CCAPP and we are looking forward to great new things!

Gary Steigman Retires with over 40 years as Faculty

Gary Steigman retired this summer, after a long and distinguished career at OSU and other institutions. He will remain an active member of CCAPP and continue with his research while enjoying saying "Nothing!" when asked what he is teaching this year.

Physics, Astronomy, and CCAPP hosted a reception honoring his scientific career over 40 years as a faculty member and his important role over 26 years as faculty member at OSU in shaping the strong groups we have in both departments today.

The reception was held on August 24, 2012 in the Physics Research Building with special guests by President Gee, Dean Joe Steinmetz, and colleague Bob Scherrer.

As a surprise to Gary, CCAPP held a special seminar given by Bob Scherrer, now Chair at Vanderbilt, and formerly faculty at Ohio State. In the second part of his talk, he presented "The Life and Times of Gary Steigman", discussing Gary Steigman's contributions to cosmology, and place them in their historical and intellectual context. He also showed some funny pictures of Gary.

CCAPP Faculty Answer Astronomy Questions at the 5th Annual GRASP Summer Camp

The annual GRASP (Girls Reaching to Achieve in Sports and Physics) Summer Camp, hosted by the Ohio State University Department of Physics Undergraduate Studies Office in coordination with physics faculty, staff, and students, began June 11, 2012.

The GRASP Summer Camp is a 5 day long day camp for 30 middle school age girls. Each day consists of hands-on, interactive physics demonstrations and projects followed by a physical activity that shows how physics relates to everyday phenomena. Ohio State staff, undergraduate students and graduate students are present at all sessions, to supervise and share their understanding and love of physics with the GRASP participants.

CCAPP Faculty Amy Connolly, John Beacom and Todd Thompson hosted an Astronomy Q&A session giving the girls an opportunity to ask anything they wanted about astronomy.

Read more about the GRASP Summer Camp...

If you would like to Give to GRASP, fund 313987...

Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) in Astrophysics

The Department of Astronomy and the Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (CCAPP) sponsor a summer research program for Ohio State undergraduates. This program offers full-time, paid summer research positions in astrophysics with a faculty member of the Department of Astronomy and/or Physics.

This past summer, 2012, CCAPP postdoc Carsten Rott hosted undergraduate Zachary Hartman.

Read more about the Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Astrophysics...

2012 CCAPP Price Prize Winners Announced

The Dr. Pliny A. and Margaret H. Price Prize of the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (CCAPP, is supported by generous gifts from Steve Price and Jill Levy, and is named after Steve's parents. Steve and Jill reside in Westerville and are admirers of the study of this science.

The Price Prize recognizes graduate students who have shown outstanding promise in areas of research closely connected to those of CCAPP. The selection, which is extremely competitive, is made by the CCAPP Science Board from nominations from around the world.

The 2012 awardees are Charlotte Strege of Imperial College, London and Chris Williams of the University of Chicago. Each will visit CCAPP in Autumn 2012 for about a week and will give a special seminar. The prize covers their expenses and provides an honorarium of $1500. The continued generosity of the donors made it possible to offer two prizes this year.

Strege is a theorist; she is probing the unknown particle properties of dark matter through combining results from astrophysical, underground, and collider experiments. Williams is an experimentalist; he is working on new techniques to detect the highest-energy particles in the universe, seeking clues to their unknown origins.

ccapp logo

Incoming Postdocs

Several new postdocs are starting or have recently started in CCAPP. We are excited about their scientific work to date and look forward to the results of their ongoing work.

Eric Huff from Berkeley has accepted our CCAPP Fellow offer and will begin in Fall 2012.

Kohta Murase has accepted our CCAPP Senior Fellow offer for the time between his Japan Society of the Promotion of Science International Fellowship in CCAPP and his Hubble Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; he will be in this role from May to September 2012.

Carl Pfendner has accepted a postdoctoral position with Professor Amy Connolly and has been a CCAPP Visiting Fellow since Winter 2012.

Ralph Schoenrich brought his Hubble Fellowship to Ohio State and has been a CCAPP Visiting Fellow since Fall 2011.

Paul Sutter is a CCAPP Visiting Fellow from the University of Illinois and the Paris Institute of Astrophysics, where he works with Professor Ben Wandelt, and he has been spending part of his time here since Fall 2011.

Zhaoyu Yang has accepted a joint postdoctoral position with Professor Richard Hughes and Brian Winer of the Fermi Group and CCAPP. She began Summer 2011.

ccapp logo

Outgoing Postdocs

Several CCAPP Fellows are moving on to new jobs. We congratulate them on their successful careers here and on their excellent new jobs.

Basudeb Dasgupta has accepted a postdoc at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy which starts November 2012.

Tim Eifler has accepted a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania. He was offered the job in the previous season, but he deferred his start until April 2012.

Shunsaku Horiuchi was awarded a Japan Society of the Promotion of Science (JSPS) International Fellowship, which he will take to the University of California, Irvine, Fall 2012.

Michael Mortonson has accepted a postdoc at UC Berkeley which starts Fall 2012.

Kohta Murase was awarded a Hubble Fellowship, which he will take to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, Fall 2012.

Beacom portrait

Beacom Elected to APS Office

John Beacom, Professor in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP), has been elected to a four-year term in the Chair line of the Division of Astrophysics of the American Physical Society.

The Division of Astrophysics represents scientists working in many fields of astrophysics and cosmology within the American Physical Society (APS), the principal professional society in physics. The Chairs of APS divisions are chosen through votes of all division members. Members elected to the Chair line progress through the top offices in the division. Beacom will serve as Vice Chair in 2012-2013, Chair-Elect in 2013-2014, Chair in 2014-2015, and Past Chair in 2015-2016.

Ohio State has been well-represented in the APS leadership. Ohio State Physics faculty recently elected to the Chair line in other APS Divisions include Lou DiMauro, the Dr. Edward E. and Sylvia Hagenlocker Chair and Professor of Physics (Division of Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics), and John Wilkins, Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor of Physics (Division of Condensed Matter Physics).

Beacom's research is centered on neutrinos, nearly-noninteracting and nearly-massless elementary particles, and especially on neutrinos from astrophysical sources. The fundamental goal of Beacom's work is to help turn "neutrino astronomy" from a near-oxymoron into a observational science and to develop its theoretical consequences for both physics and astronomy.

Carsten in front of skyline

Rott appointed a co-conveneer of the IceCube Dark Matter Working Group

Carsten Rott, a CCAPP Senior Fellow, has been appointed a co-convenor of the IceCube Dark Matter Working Group. Carsten will join Carlos de los Heros (Uppsala University) as a co-lead.

The IceCube dark matter working group is actively pursuing various analyses to search for dark matter annihilation signals from the Galactic Center, Milky Way Halo, Dwarf Spheriodal Galaxies, Galaxy Clusters, as well as signals from the center of the Earth and the Sun.

The indirect search for dark matter is one of the core science topics of IceCube. Data collected with the partially instrumented detector has already been used to produce the world's best constraints on spin-dependent scattering of dark matter particles on nucleons. The full IceCube detector, active since May 2011, provides significantly improved sensitivity to dark matter signals.

New DES Camera to Help Solve Mysteries of the Universe in 3D

An international team of more than 120 scientists will take the next step Monday toward solving the mystery of dark energy, one of physics' most perplexing conundrums. The farther an object in the universe is from Earth, the faster it moves away. T. Eifler, a CCAPP Postdoc and DES project collaborator, says to understand the concept, think of throwing a baseball.

Physicists said the new camera will provide information to help them better understand the composition of dark energy and the laws that govern it.

The Dark Energy Camera (photo on left) will photograph almost 300 million galaxies over the next five years. The camera is a crucial component in the Dark Energy Survey.

Read Full Article...

An element that's rare on Earth is found far, far away

Tellurium detected for the first time in ancient stars.

Jennifer Johnson, an associate professor of astronomy at Ohio State University, says tellurium has been a "tough" element to detect, since it absorbs light in the ultraviolet spectrum, which is impossible for ground-based telescopes to spot. The team's findings, she says, are a first step in identifying some of the most elusive elements in the universe.

Read Full Article...

A New Phase of CCAPP

  • CCAPP, its leadership, and its administration have entered a new phase.
  • From 2006-2011, CCAPP was supported primarily by Targeted Investment in Excellence (TIE) funds won in a university-wide competition. The Director was Professor Terry Walker and the Program Coordinator was Yavonne McGarry. The CCAPP community thanks them for their dedicated and successful service.
  • Beginning in Autumn 2011, CCAPP will be supported by funds from the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and from a large endowment to CCAPP from a private donor. The new Director is Professor John Beacom and the new Program Coordinator is Lisa Krehnovi.

2011 CCAPP Price Prize Winners Announced

The Dr. Pliny A. and Margaret H. Price Prize of the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (CCAPP) is supported by generous gifts from Steve Price and Jill Levy, and is named after Steve's parents. Steve and Jill reside in Westerville and are admirers of the study of this science.

The Price Prize recognizes graduate students who have shown exceptional accomplishments and promise in areas of research closely connected to those of CCAPP. The selection, which is extremely competitive, is made by the CCAPP Science Board from nominations from around the world.

The 2011 awardees are Sayan Chakraborti of the Tata Institute and Michele Fumagalli of Santa Cruz. Each will visit CCAPP in 2012 for about a week and will give a special seminar. The prize covers their expenses and provides an honorarium of $1500. The continued generosity of the donors made it possible to offer two prizes this year.

Chakraborti works on the mechanisms and consequences of supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. Fumagalli works on how galaxies and their stars form across cosmic time. An unusual aspect of their work is that each has worked on both theory and observation.

Before supernovea and after

A Star's Signal of Impending Doom

A binary star system in the Whirlpool Galaxy has brought OSU astronomers tantalizingly close to their goal of observing a star just before it goes supernova.

Carsten at Antarctica

Rott Awarded Antarctica Service Medal

C. Rott, a CCAPP Senior Fellow, was awarded the Antarctica Service Medal from the National Science Foundation.

2011 Nobel Physics Prize for Dark Energy

The 2011 Nobel Physics Prize was awarded this week to Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Riess for their surprising discovery in 1998 that type Ia supernovae indicate that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

Prior to this finding, most models of the universe predicted that the gravitational pull of matter should cause the expansion of space to slow down over time. The data collected by the Supernova Cosmology Project led by Perlmutter and the High-z Supernova Search Team led by Schmidt and Riess revealed that the most distant supernovae appear fainter than expected, implying that space is actually expanding at an increasing rate. Attempts to explain this phenomenon, which require either assuming the existence of a strange new substance with negative pressure or altering Einstein's theory of gravity, are generically termed "dark energy."

The discovery of cosmic acceleration ushered in over a decade of efforts to reveal the nature of dark energy using not only larger samples of supernovae but also a variety of novel methods to measure the cosmic expansion history. As a result, there are now many lines of evidence showing that dark energy makes up about 70 per cent of the energy density of our universe, but exactly what the dark energy is remains an open question.

Researchers at CCAPP are participating in several ongoing programs that aim to significantly improve our knowledge of dark energy's role in the evolution of the universe, including the Dark Energy Survey and the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. As these surveys map out the universe with increasing precision over the next few years, the data they provide will enable us to narrow down the range of possible explanations for cosmic acceleration and perhaps lead to another breakthrough in our understanding of cosmology and fundamental physics.

onCampus - Ask the Expert:
"Why has the Space Shuttle Program Ended?

M. Stamatikos, a CCAPP Postdoctoral Researcher, speaks on the subject discussing the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, its legacy and the future of human space exploration.

Read the full onCampus article...

Scientists model physics of a key dark-energy probe

Ohio State University researchers are leveraging powerful supercomputers to investigate one of the key observational probes of "dark energy," the mysterious energy form that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate over time.

The OSU project, led by Chris Orban, a graduate research fellow in physics at Ohio State's Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics, focuses on simulations created on Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) systems to simplify and better characterize a subtle dark matter clustering feature.


INSA logo

CCAPP Postdoc Wins INSA Award

CCAPP Postdoc B. Dasgupta is 1 of 30 scientists to win the 2011 Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Young Scientists Award. He is being recognized for his discovery of unusual and interesting effects of large neutrino densities in supernova cores.

The award of an Academy medal to a Young Scientist is made in recognition of notable contributions to any branch of science or technology, recognized by the Academy, on the basis of work carried out in India. Any citizen of India who has not attained the age of 35 years is eligible.
Read more about the INSA Young Scientist Award...

Einstein Fellowship logo

JSG Awarded Einstein Fellowship

CCAPP is very proud to announce that CCAPP postdoc Jennifer Siegal-Gaskins has been awarded a prestigious Einstein Fellowship which she plans to take to Cal Tech. Jenny was one of 10 Einstein Fellows awarded this year, and she joins Eduardo Rozo and Matt Kistler as CCAPP recipients.
Read More about the Einstein Fellowship...
Learn More about Jenny and this year's Recipients...

Julia Robinson

Symposium Public Lecture Featured in OnCampus

The space shuttle program may be drawing to a close, but science aboard the International Space Station (ISS) isn't slowing down, according to ISS Program Manager Julia Robinson.
Read the OnCampus Article...

Ohio State Researchers Use Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope to Explain How Universe Works

Researchers at Ohio State are using the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope to locate gamma ray bursts, the most energetic objects in the universe. Learn how their observations are being used to help explain how the universe works and what it is made of.

Read More, OnCampus Article...

The Price Place

CCAPP is very pleased to announce the establishment of Price Place, a state-of-the-art facility designed as a gathering spot for CCAPP postdocs, students, and visitors. Located in Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, Price Place will serve as a home to CCAPP's many visitors, both long and short term, giving young scientists a competitive advantage as they pursue forefront research.

Sponsored by a generous donation from Steve Price and Jill Levy, Price Place continues their focus on fostering the development of young researchers in cosmology and astroparticle physics.

The room is scheduled to be completed by May 2011.

Astrophysicists Shine Bright with Award - The 2011 Rossi Prize

The American Astronomical Society's High Energy Astrophysics Division has awarded a prestigious prize to eight Ohio State scientists. All are part of the research team for the Large Area Telescope, an instrument on board the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, which scans the skies for the most energetic form of radiation. Among their discoveries: Einstein was right about the structure of space-time.

Read More OnCampus...

In deep galaxy surveys, astronomers get a boost — from gravity

As many as 20 percent of the most distant galaxies currently detected appear brighter than they actually are, because of an effect called "strong gravitational lensing," according to a new study that involves Haojing Yan, postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at Ohio State. The discovery could change astronomers' notions of how galaxies formed in the early universe. Yan is part of an international team of astronomers who are using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to probe the distant universe.

Read more:

2011 AAAS Fellows Announced

Arts and Sciences Faculty Named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Seven Arts and Sciences faculty members join a distinguished group of colleagues recognized around the world as key innovators and leaders in their fields. The Arts and Sciences faculty selected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and their citations include:

Bradley M. Peterson, professor and chair of astronomy: For pioneering innovative methods to measure the masses of black holes in active galactic nuclei and to map the distributions of gas around them.

Construction of IceCube is Complete

Construction of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory was completed at the the South Pole in Antarctica on December 18, 2010 New Zealand time. This scientific milestone marks completion of the world's largest neutrino detector and a powerful tool for exploring the Universe.

The Ohio State University (OSU) joined the IceCube effort in 2008. The OSU IceCube group, which consists of four senior members: Prof. Jim Beatty, Prof. Amy Connolly, Dr. Carsten Rott, and Dr. Michael Stamatikos, has been primarily be involved with the data quality and analysis efforts.

Rott, a 5-year fellow with OSU's Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (CCAPP) and an IceCube member since 2005 is leading a new search for signals from dark matter annihilating in our Galaxy.
Stamatikos, who is also an experienced IceCube member since 2002, is pursuing multi-messenger searches from Gamma-Ray Bursts using NASA satellites such as Swift and Fermi.

Read the NSF Press Release...

John Glenn
John Grunsfeld
Harrison Schmitt

The Future of Human Space Exploration: A Panel Discussion with Luminary NASA Astronauts

The 4th Annual Biard Lecture was held on Sunday November 21, 2010 at COSI. Here are some news links about the event.

The Columbus Dispatch
The Lantern
Event/Autograph Pictures on Flickr

All Sides with Ann Fisher

  • CCAPP Director, Terry Walker and CCAPP Postdoc, Michael Stamatikos were interviewed by Ann Fisher of All Sides on WOSU, November 15th.

  • They discussed the center and the future of manned space flight. The radio segment is available for download/listening at

ANITA Sees Surprise Cosmic Rays

Another One Lights the Dust

  • An odd supernova in a distant galaxy hints at the future of a star system much closer to home.

  • Ohio State astronomers were searching the skies for black holes. Instead, they discovered a giant star whose death was hidden in a cloud of dust.

  • Read the Article Here:
    OSU Do Something Great

Watch Live Construction of DECam

Kazantzidis Featured in Nature Journal

  • "Supermassive Black Hole Formation in the Early Universe"

  • Ohio State University astronomer Stelios Kazantzidis is part of an international team of scientists proposing that galaxy mergers can lead to the early formation of supermassive black holes.
    Read the full article:
    Online Nature Article
    OSU Research Article

Ohio State Impact Magazine

  • With a focus on research and featured article of CCAPP, the summer 2010 issue of Ohio State Impact magazine is now available online.
    Online Impact Magazine

Kistler Awarded 2010 Einstein Fellowship

  • Congratulations to CCAPP's Presidential Fellow Matthew Kistler, who was one of ten scientists awarded the 2010 Einstein Fellowship.

  • NASA has announced the selection of the 2010 Einstein Fellows who will conduct research related to NASA's Physics of the Cosmos program, which aims to expand our knowledge of the origin, evolution, and fate of the Universe.

  • The Einstein Fellowship provides support to the awardees for three years, and the Fellows may pursue their research at a host university or research center of their choosing in the United States. The new Fellows will begin their programs in the fall of 2010.

  • The Einstein Fellowships are administered for NASA by the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Mass. Along with the Hubble and Sagan Fellowships, the Einstein Fellowships are made possible by the Astrophysics Division within NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  • More information on the Einstein Fellows Chosen for 2010...
  • More information on the Einstein Fellowships...

CCAPP Videos on YouTube

BLAST! Event Photos Posted

CCAPP Symposium Sets Cosmological Agenda

gamma rays around geminga

Excess positrons are linked to Geminga pulsar

  • Are recently-detected excesses of cosmic electrons and positrons the first direct evidence for the existence of dark matter particles? That has been the hope of many physicists, while others have suggested a more mundane origin in a nearby pulsar. Now researchers in the US claim that the excesses can be linked to high-energy gamma rays emitted by the Geminga pulsar.

  • Researchers included The Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics Matthew Kistler and Hasan Yuksel and Todor Stanev at the University of Delaware.

  • The image to the left is the extended region of high-energy gamma rays around the Geminga pulsar as seen by the Milagro experiment.

  • Article
  • Science News Article
  • Read the Full Paper
dark matter clusters in galaxy

Is Our Galaxy Doomed to be Destroyed by Galactic Bombardment?

  • Ohio State University astronomer Stelios Kazantzidis has performed supercomputer simulations to determine whether collisions with our dwarf galactic neighbors will one day tear apart the disk of the Milky Way.

  • OSU Research News
  • Yahoo News
  • Science Daily News
  • USA News
M81 Holmberg IX

A New Way to Measure Cosmic Distances

  • Ohio State astronomers and researchers using LBT have found a way to measure distances to objects three times farther away in outer space than previously possible.
  • Involved in this study is Krzysztof Stanek, Jonathan Bird and Jose Prieto.
  • Read the Full Article.
Ice Cube

IceCube featured in Columbus Dispatch

  • The IceCube neutrino observatory was featured in the Columbus Dispatch Sunday May 17, 2009. Article includes interview with CCAPP researcher Carsten Rott.
  • Read the Full Dispatch Article.

Photomultiplier tube from SuperK

The photomultipier tube pictured here was used to watch the Super Kamiokande (SuperK) water for the atmospheric neutrino. It was one of 10,000's used to image large tanks of water hoping to capture the light produced when neutrinos interact with protons and electorns in the tank.

Come visit the Mezzanine Floor of the Physics Research Building to see it on display and read more about it.

2009 Sloan Research Fellows

Ohio State researchers score Sloan Fellowships

An Ohio State astronomer is among researchers recently honored with prestigious fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Todd Thompson, assistant professor of astronomy and CCAPP science board member, is among the outstanding early career scientists, mathematicians and economists chosen by the foundation to receive two-year, $50,000 grants.

Full OnCampus Article

2009 Sloan Research Fellows

President Gee presents John Beacom Alumni Award

Prof. John Beacom Surprised by President Gee

Prof. John Beacom was awarded the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching with a surprise classroom visit from President Gee on Wednesday, February 25. The Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching annually recognizes a maximum of ten faculty for their teaching excellence. Students, faculty, and alumni may nominate candidates, and a committee of students, faculty and alumni chooses the recipients. Recipients are recognized with a $3,000 honorarium made possible by gifts from The Ohio State University Alumni Association, University Development, and the Office of Academic Affairs. In addition, the Office of Academic Affairs awards an increase of $1,200 to each recipient's base salary.

Link to Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching 2009

An End to Modernity

An End to Modernity by Josiah Elheny

Designed in collaboration with CCAPP scientist David Weinberg, McElheny's sculpture traces the 14 billion year history of the expanding universe. The central aluminum sphere, lamps, and glass pieces depict the last scattering surface, the rise and fall of the quasar population, and the growth, transformation, and clustering of galaxies.

First exhibited at the Wexner Center for the Arts, An End to Modernity is now in the collection of the Tate Modern gallery in London.

A video of artist Josiah Elheny discussing his work.

Come visit the Physics Research Building Mezzanine to see it on display along with The Last Scattering Surface


The Last Scattering Surface

Designed in collaboration with CCAPP scientist David Weinberg, The Last Scattering Surface [italics] illustrates cosmic structure at the epoch of recombination and the present day. The intensities of the lamps that illuminate the glowing central sphere are chosen based on the COBE map of the cosmic microwave background. Clusters of glass pieces represent clusters of spiral and elliptical galaxies.

First exhibited at the Donald Young Gallery in Chicago, The Last Scattering Surface [italics] is now in the collection of the Phoenix Art Museum.

Gary Steigman's Lecture in Brazil

Steigman Lectures in Brazil

Gary Steigman recently gave an invited public lecture at the Einstein Exhibit in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The talk was sponsored in part by the State of Sao Paulo Funding Agency, FAPESP.

A summary of the talk and a video (abridged) may be accessed at the FAPESP OnlineResearch Journal.

Aerial View of South Pole

Ohio State joins the IceCube Collaboration

Led by Prof. James Beatty and CCAPP postdocs Carsten Rott and Mike Stamatikos, OSU as joined the IceCube experiment, a 1 cubic km detector that uses the Antarctic ice cap as a high energy neutrino telescope ( The physics and astronomy done at IceCube will be greatly enhanced by CCAPP's ongoing collaborative efforts in astroparticle physics.

DES Cluster Finder Comparison Meeting

The DES Cluster Finder Comparison Meeting

The Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (CCAPP) at The Ohio State University (OSU) is holding The DES Cluster Finder Comparison Meeting in Columbus, Ohio on May 22-24. Participation is by invitation only and is sponsored by CCAPP. This meeting will bring together the various groups within the Dark Energy Survey (DES) that are working on developing and/or testing cluster finding algorithms in order to compare the different approaches being currently pursued. Our final goal is to clearly identify and characterize the relative strength and weaknesses of each of the methods, in order to improve the quality of the optical cluster finding techniques that will be available for the DES. View the workshop page here.

GLAST Poster

GLAST Launch Blog

[NASA will provide] live coverage of the countdown to launch of the Delta II carrying the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) will begin right here about two hours before liftoff. Follow the countdown milestones on launch day as the exciting final hours before liftoff unfold. Through blog updates and videos, keep track of preparations at the launch pad as the Delta II rocket prepares to carry GLAST into space.

Terra incognita

OSU researchers play hide and seek with the universe

Thanks to the new Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics, faculty and students are able to ask and answer questions about what the universe is made of and how it has evolved.
See full article in onCampus newspaper

The View From The Center Of The Universe

Special Public Lecture

On Monday, March 24, CCAPP will host a special public lecture by Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams: "The View From The Center Of The Universe." Click here to view their homepage.

Rick Harrison, OSU Alumni Magazine

A New View of the Cosmos is Brewing

Cosmic Quest
Fueled by out-of-this-world curiosity, millions of dollars, and a lot of coffee (see page 8) Ohio State researchers are reaching for the stars.
Click here to view the full PDF article by Pam Frost Gorder from the new issue of the Alumni Magazine.

Auger Map

Auger Observatory Closes in on Long Standing Mystery, Links Highest Energy Cosmic Rays with Violent Black Holes

Scientists of the Pierre Auger Collaboration announced today (8 Nov. 2007) that active galactic nuclei are the most likely candidate for the source of the highest energy cosmic rays that hit Earth. Using the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina, the largest cosmic-ray observatory in the world, a team of scientists from 17 countries found that the sources of the highest-energy particles are not distributed uniformly across the sky. Instead, the Auger results link the origins of these mysterious particles to the locations of nearby galaxies that have active nuclei in their centers. The results appear in the Nov. 9 issue of the journal Science.

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are thought to be powered by supermassive black holes that are devouring large amounts of matter. They have long been considered sites where high-energy particle production might take place. They swallow gas, dust and other matter from their host galaxies and spew out particles and energy. While most galaxies have black holes at their center, only a fraction of all galaxies have an AGN. The exact mechanism of how AGNs can accelerate particles to energies 100 million times higher than the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth is still a mystery.

OSU faculty member Jim Beatty leads the international team that developed the electronics for the 1600 cosmic ray detectors spread over an area the size of Rhode Island in western Argentina. The OSU Auger team also includes postdoc Brian Baugham and graduate students Chad Morris and Michael Sutherland.

The Economist, Scientific American, and The New York Times have all picked up on the Auger story.

For more details, visit and


The Ohio State University Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics to Share $20M Exploration of Space Endowment

The Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP), based on a joint proposal with the Department of Astronomy, will share roughly half of a $20M Exploration of Space endowment, to date OSU's second largest gift. CCAPP is an interdisciplinary Center, with members from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, focused on studying the evolution of the Universe and the nature of its highest energy particles. CCAPP's Exploration of Space endowment, along with other things, will go towards funding in perpetuity several long term CCAPP postdoctoral researchers whose research is focused on exploring the Universe.

According to the OSU press release:

The Ohio State University has received a transformational gift of $20 million to support one of the biggest undertakings imaginable: the exploration of outer space. The anonymous gift is the second-largest single gift to the university in its 137-year history. In addition to unprecedented studies of our universe, it will support the mentoring of young minds and major collaborations on promising research projects.

"We always encourage our talented faculty and students to 'reach for the stars,' and this incredible act of generosity will allow them to do just that," said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. "This extraordinary gift will make it possible to explore some of the biggest mysteries of our universe, and the discoveries that result will be enormous. They may even help us to understand the very nature of our existence."

For further details, see    and



Auger North Surface Detector Electronics Workshop

Members of the Auger Collaboration from the U.S. and Europe are meeting to discuss optimization of the design of the electronics for the northern site of the Auger Observatory being proposed for southeastern Colorado. The southern site in Mendoza, Argentina, is nearing completion. Watch the CCAPP website for exciting results from Auger soon!

The workshop will take place September 27th and 28th.

LBT Image

CCAPP's Paul Martini sends greetings from the LBT

To the left is a color composite of last month's observation of Abell 611, created by combining all of the u,g,r data and the strong, blue arc near the cluster center looks absolutely spectacular.

Details: the image is about 2 arcminutes on a side, North is up, East is to the left. The integration times were 20min in Uspec, 60min in g-SDSS,and 15min in r-SDSS. The image quality in the combined images is about 0.6" FWHM in g and r, but they were smoothed them to match the 0.7" image quality of the u-band image. Click on the image for a large view.

Dark Energy Survey Logo

OSU Joins the Search for Dark Energy

OSU has been accepted as an Institutional Member in the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Collaboration. DES ( is a multifaceted effort designed to determine the properties of the dark energy that makes up 70% of the Universe but has no compelling theoretical explanation. OSU joins other US Universities at Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, and Penn, International University Collaborations in Brazil, the UK, and Spain, and National Facilities at Argonne, Fermilab, LBL, NOAO, and NSCA.

Members of the OSU Collaboration are D. DePoy, K. Honscheid, C. Kochanek, P. Martini, D. Terndrup, D. Weinberg, and T. Walker. Additional OSU members are expected to be added in the future as the experiment evolves. Klaus Honscheid has kindly agreed to represent OSU on the Management Committee. The OSU Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP) played a central role in OSU's DES membership, providing a rich intellectual environment, along with critical postdoctoral support, and monetary contributions.

Mack and Corwin pose with awards

Hayes Graduate Research Forum Winners

Graduate students Greg Mack and Luke Corwin were the first and second place winners, respectively, in the Math and Physical Sciences section of the 2007 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. This university-wide competition, which is based on both written and oral presentations, involved approximately 40 students from the College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Greg, a CCAPP graduate student of Prof. John Beacom, presented his research in theoretical astrophysics on "Towards Closing the Window on Strongly Interacting Dark Matter: Far-Reaching Constraints from Earth's Heat Flow". While the nature of the dark matter remains unknown, this work shows that its interaction rate with ordinary matter must be extremely weak. This research was conducted in the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics.

Luke, a student of Prof. Klaus Honscheid, presented his research in experimental particle physics entitled "Searching for Physics Beyond the Standard Model with a Rare Decay." The Standard Model is the theory of particle physics, and the decay in question had not been observed before. Luke performed this measurement as a member of the BaBar Collaboration.


CCAPP Postdoctoral Fellowships in Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics

5-year and 3-year positions. Application deadline 1/1/07. See the CCAPP Postdoctoral Fellowships in Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics to learn more on the CCAPP Jobs page.

CCAPP in Columbus Dispatch

Read an editorial praising OSU's new initiatives.


CCAPP receives $5.2M in funding

CCAPP receives $5.2M in funding through Ohio State's Targeted Investment in Excellence initiative. Along with matching support from OSU's College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, this brings CCAPP's University support to $5.7M over the next 5 years.

'Fundamental Astro-Particle Physics: Conference in Celebration of Gary Steigman's 65th Birthday'

Conference Registration and Information

John Beacom (CCAPP, OSU Physics) receives NSF CAREER Award

"A prestigious award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will help John Beacom perform a forensic study of the universe...." Read more about the NSF CAREER Award.


CCAPP Postdoctoral Fellows in Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics

Eduardo Rozo (Chicago), CCAPP Postdoctoral Researcher (2006-2009).


David Weinberg (CCAPP, OSU Astronomy) named Sloan Digital Sky Survey Spokesman

Visit Sloan Digital Sky Survey online

OSU's Large Binocular Telescope achieves first light

Click the image to the left to view the first light! Or click here to go to the LBT's first light's web site.

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