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Center for Fundamental Theory Center for Theoretical and Observational Cosmology Center for Particle and Gravitational Astrophysics

The Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos is a multidisciplinary institute of Penn State researchers dedicated to the study of the most fundamental structure and constituents of the Universe.

News and Events

  • IGC is co-sponsoring this year's Frontiers of Science Lecture Series entitled "100 Years after Einstein's Greatest Discovery: New Science from General Relativity." The series will consist of 6 public lectures, held on consecutive Saturdays in 100 Thomas Building at the University Park Campus.

    January 24: "Understanding Einstein's Greatest Discovery," John Norton (Director, Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh)

    January 31: "Sculpting the Universe," David Weinberg (The Henry L. Cox Professor and Distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Ohio State)

    February 7: "The Warped Side of the Universe," Nergis Mavalvala (The Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics, MIT)

    February 14: "Capturing the Birth Cries of Black Holes," John Nousek (Director of Mission Operations at NASA's SWIFT Satellite)

    February 21: "Discovering Planets," Jason Wright (Astronomy and Astrophysics, Penn State)

    February 28: "Pushing Science Beyond Einstein," Eugenio Bianchi (Physics, Penn State)
  • Main results of a recent paper by Abhay Ashtekar, Beatrice Bonga and Aruna Kesavan (Class. Quantum Grav. 32, 025004) were highlighted by the British IOP on their website CQGplus PDF
  • Lucas Hackl has been selected to serve as the APS student representative on the Science and Human Rights Coalition of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The coalition seeks to encourage the "science, engineering and health communities" to "embrace human rights as an area suitable for and deserving of robust inquiry, and become an influential voice in the defense of human rights."
  • The IceCube 2014 discovery of a 2 PeV cosmic neutrino event ("Big Bird") has been featured by APS as one of the Top 10 Physics News Stories in 2014.

IceCube Experiment at the South Pole

Professors Doug Cowen and Tyce DeYoung lead to a group of postdoctoral researchers, graduate students and undergraduates performing research with the IceCube experiment at the South Pole. A recent article published by their collaboration was featured in Physical Review Letters "This Week in Physics" website:

In the search for dark matter, among the most interesting candidates is the neutralino, a neutral particle, predicted in supersymmetric extensions of the standard model, which interacts only weakly with other matter. Since the neutralino is expected to be stable, it may be possible to find particles that are relics of the early universe."

"Theorists have predicted that the sun's gravity can trap neutralinos, which could collect in its center and then annihilate each other. The standard-model particles created by these annihilations could subsequently decay, producing high-energy neutrinos that could escape from the sun and be detected on earth. Based on searches for these neutrinos, the IceCube Collaboration has now reported in Physical Review Letters new limits on neutralino annihilations in the sun." (Stanley Brown, Physical Review Letters) More....

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