Cosmic Cartography, 2007 Cosmic Cartography Journey Through the Universe
Event Info
December 5, 2007 @ 7PM
- Enter at 220 South Columbus Ave
- Follow the YOU ARE HERE Red Dots

This event is free
- No reservations required
- First come first serve
- Doors OPEN at 6:30PM


7PM Wednsday December 5, 2007
the Rubloff Auditorium Art Institute of Chicago

The event is free and open to the public.

Join University of Chicago Cosmologists Rocky Kolb and Michael Turner for a cosmic magical mystery tour from Chicago to the edge of the visible universe. Visit observatories around the globe (virtually) and meet people who are mapping the Dark Matter that holds galaxies together and discovering the nature of the Dark Energy, which pulls space apart. See also "Cosmic Cartography Journey Through the Universe" at the Chicago Maps Festival website.

Download the "Cosmic Cartography Journey Through the Universe" flyer.

Cosmic Art/Science Collaboration










Kolb is a Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Chicago and a member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute. He applies elementary particle physics to the study of the very early universe in his research.

Kolb's book for the general public, Blind Watchers of the Sky, received the 1996 Eugene Emme Astronautical Literature Award. He has lectured at many venues around the world, including Chicago's Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum and the Royal Society of London. He also has appeared in several television productions, as well as in the OMNIMAX/IMAX film The Cosmic Voyage.




Professor, Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Physics, and the College; Enrico Fermi Institute; Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

My research focuses on the application of modern ideas in elementary-particle theory to cosmology and astrophysics. I believe that this approach holds the key to answering the most pressing questions in cosmology. For example, there is reason to believe that the ubiquitous dark matter that holds the Universe together is elementary particles left over from the earliest moments, that the primeval inhomogeneity in the distribution of matter, which was revealed by COBE and which seeded all the structure in the Universe seen today, arose from quantum-mechanical fluctuations occurring during a very early burst of expansion called inflation, and that the existence of ordinary matter resulted from particle interactions in the early Universe that make the proton unstable and do not respect the symmetry between matter and antimatter. By testing these ideas with cosmological data, outer space becomes a window to the earliest moments of creation and to the unification of the forces and particles of Nature.




Professor Emeritus, Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Physics, and the College; Enrico Fermi Institute; Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

James Cronin and University of Leeds professor Alan Watson lead an international project to study the nature and origin of rare but extremely powerful, high-energy (>1019 eV), cosmic rays that periodically bombard Earth. The project includes more than 250 scientists from nineteen nations.

The scientists will practice a new form of astronomy rooted in particle physics. Construction of the Pierre Auger Observatory, a giant detector array near the cities of Malargue and San Rafael in Argentina's Mendoza Province, will be completed by 2003, but researchers plan to begin observations as early as 2001. The site will contain 1600 particle detection stations 1.5 kilometers apart, arranged in a giant grid covering 3000 square kilometers, an area about the size of the state of Rhode Island. The Auger Project collaborators hope later to construct a complementary northern hemisphere observatory which, together with the southern observatory, would allow studies of cosmic rays from the entire sky.




Deputy Director of Fermilab, Professor of Physics, University of Chicago

As an experimental elementary particle physicist, my main physics interests are to understand the orgin of mass and the origin of the asymmetry between matter and anti-matter presently observed in our universe. Most of my current research is at the CDF experiment, a high energy physics experiment operating at the Tevatron, which brings together an international collaboration of over 800 physicists. Fermilab's Tevatron is currently the world's highest energy accelerator, colliding protons with antiprotons at a center-of-mass energy of 2 trillion volts. My group has played a major role in the detector construction and operation as well as in the data analysis from this experiment. In 1995, we, along with the sister experiment DZero, discovered the sixth and perhaps final quark, called the top quark. I am also involved in the ATLAS experiment at the LHC and the International Linear Collider R&D efforts.

Toward understanding the orgin of mass, the emphasis of my research has been searches for the Higgs boson (which is responsible for giving masses to elementary particles, thus the origin of mass), and the studies of the W boson (carrier of weak force, responsible for radioactive decays) and the top quark, nature's heaviest quark. Through quantum corrections, accurate measurements of the mass of the top quark and the mass of the W boson provide information about the mass of the Higg boson. My group's most recent work includes measuring the mass and lifetime of the top quark, searching for Higgs bosons, searching for Supersymmetric partners of Standard model particles, and discovery and measurement of the transition rate between Bs and its anti-particle (an important measurement for understanding the phenomena of the asymmetry between matter and anti-matter). See this page for further information on current activities.




Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the College; Fermilab: Theoretical Astrophysics Group; Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

Frieman's primary research is in theoretical and observational cosmology. His current research focuses on the large-scale structure of the Universe and on understanding the origin of the speed-up of the expansion of the Universe. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is providing the largest, most detailed map of the cosmos ever made. The three-dimensional distribution of galaxies it reveals provides clues to how these structures formed. This survey is also providing a new sampling of supernovae, exploding stars that become as bright as an entire galaxy for a few weeks and that can be used to trace the history of cosmic expansion. For the future, even deeper surveys, such as the Dark Energy Survey, will be used to probe the nature of cosmic acceleration with greater precision, by mapping out hundreds of millions of galaxies.




Associate Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Senior Fellow, Computation Institute; Enrico Fermi Institute; Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

My main area of research is modeling of various aspects of structure formation in the Universe using numerical simulations. The primary focus of my work is thus development and analyses of computer models of galaxies and galaxy clusters and tests of model predictions against observations from very early epochs to the present. These tests are used to investigate the implications of various hypotheses regarding the nature of dark matter and dark energy, as well as constraining parameters of the cosmological model that describes our Universe. I am also interested in developing and using new numerical and scientific visualization techniques. To run high-resolution numerical simulations I am using large supercomputers at the national supercomputer centers and abroad.




Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

My main research focuses the use of galaxy clusters as probes of cosmology. I have led several large surveys to find galaxy clusters in the distant universe, and am heavily engaged in using large optical telescopes - such as the Magellan telescopes in Chile - to follow up these initial discoveries. Massive galaxy clusters, which can contain hundreds to thousands of individual galaxies, are a unique environment in the universe and studying them allows us to test both models of structure formation, and the interplay between galaxies and their stellar populations and this larger scale environment. As part of this work I have also been cataloging and observing a large number of new gravitational lenses; these extraordinary clusters, often referred to as "nature's telescopes", allow us to see the distant universe magnified many-fold.




Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

Pryke is an experimental cosmologist and educator. His research currently centers on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) - the after glow from early times when the Universe was a smooth hot plasma. By studying the CMB we can learn much about the origin, contents and ultimate fate of the Universe - CMB studies are at the center of the current "golden age" of cosmology. Pryke has played a strong role in the construction and operation of a series of CMB telescopes cited at the South Pole in Antarctica, and the analysis of the data they produce. He was a key member of the DASI team which produced the first detection of the polarization of the CMB. More recently he has been leading the Chicago effort on QUaD - another ground breaking CMB polarimeter. He is also a member of the SZA and SPT collaborations which are using the CMB as a "backlight" to study the evolution of massive clusters of galaxies and learn about the mysterious dark energy which appears to pervade empty space.




Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College

My main interest is in the development of new methods for the detection for hypothetical astroparticles (WIMPs, axions, magnetic monopoles, any yet-to-be-discovered component of cosmic rays that might constitute a fraction of the 'dark matter'). Evidently, this is all risky business but I am interested in both journey and destination: the extreme levels of sensitivity sought in some of these experiments force us in the field to devise new detection approaches and to try to stay aware of the latest advances in particle detector technology. It is all a very enjoyable challenge. I am also attracted to other exotica such as double-beta decay (as part of the MAJORANA collaboration) and some 'hard' problems in neutrino detection (coherent neutrino scattering, detection of the relic neutrino sea). I enjoy the condensed-matter aspects of detector development, in particular the area of interactions between radiation and matter. I get easily excited about cross-disciplinary endeavors and real-life applications of detectors that may otherwise be chasing ghost particles.




Senior Research Associate, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago; Vice President for Research, Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum

Dr. Fortson's research work is conducted as a member of the VERITAS Collaboration. VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) is a ground based observatory located near Tucson, Arizona with an array of four 12-m optical reflectors for gamma-ray astronomy. As leader of the Adler team on VERITAS, Dr. Fortson and her group are carrying out a vigorous multiwavelength campaign observing Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) in optical and gamma ray wavelengths to understand the correlations in power output from these objects. It is thought that active galaxies have black holes at their centers and these black holes can cause the light output from the galaxy to fluctuate. By studying both optical and gamma ray light output from these active galaxies, Dr. Fortson and her colleagues hope to learn more about the black hole engine at the center. Dr. Fortson also leads the VERITAS education and public outreach efforts (