physics resources

physics resourcesbuffalo-case-cornell-syracuse workshop



DECEMBER 8-9, 2008

Cleveland, Ohio


TimeMonday, Dec.8 (Rockefeller 309)Tuesday, Dec.9 (Sears 435)
9:30-11:00Greeting/ Gong ShowTalks
1:00-2:30Lunch (Pizza)(Boxed) Lunch
2:30-4:00TalksWorkshop ends
7:00-Dinner at Li Wah Restaurant (2999 Payne Ave) 
We will meet for drinks on Sunday night, starting at 6pm in the reception area of the Comfort Inn. If we decide to change venues, we will leave instructions with the staff.


Registration is now closed. If you need assistance, email or talk to Pascal.

You can find a list of registered participants here


Detailed Schedule

Monday, 9:30am: Greeting/ Gong Talks

Glenn Starkman
Dennis Bessada
De-Chang Dai
Eric Greenwood
Evan Halstead, Robert Poltis
Will Kinney
Dejan Stojkovic
Dan Akerib
Adam Bradley
Sean Bryan
Ross Burton
Yi-Zen Chu
Craig Copi
Tamas Csorgo
David Jacobs
Kate Jones-Smith
Lawrence Krauss
Irit Maor
Harsh Mathur
Reijiro Matsuo
Santiago Patiri
Zak Staniszewski
Glenn Starkman
Pascal Vaudrevange
Amanda Yoho
Idit Zehavi
Jolyon Bloomfield
Naresh Kumar
Eran Rosenthal
Dan Wohns
Gang Xu
Cristian Armendariz-Picon
Richard Schnee
Ohio State University
Mandeep Gill
Carsten Rott
Julia Young

Monday, Dec.8

Location: Rockefeller 309
Monday, 11:30Dan WohnsColeman-de Luccia Tunneling and the Hawking Temperature (paper) (hand-written slides)
We study Coleman-de Luccia tunneling in some detail. We show that, for a single scalar field potential with a true and a false vacuum, there are four types of tunneling, depending on the properties of the potential. A general tunneling process involves a combination of thermal (Hawking temperature) fluctuation part way up the barrier followed by quantum tunneling. The thin-wall approximation is a special limit of the case (of only quantum tunneling) where inside the nucleation bubble is the true vacuum while the outside reaches the false vacuum. Hawking-Moss tunneling is the (only thermal fluctuation) limit of the case where the inside of the bubble does not reach the true vacuum at the moment of its creation, and the outside is cut off by the de Sitter horizon before it reaches the false vacuum. We estimate the corrections to the Hawking-Moss formula, which can be large. In all cases, we see that the bounce of the Euclidean action decreases rapidly as the vacuum energy density increases, signaling that the tunneling is not exponentially suppressed. In some sense, this phenomenon may be interpreted as a finite temperature effect due to the Hawking temperature of the de Sitter space. As an application, we discuss the implication of this tunneling property to the cosmic landscape
Monday, 12:00-12:30Dejan StojkovicConnecting cosmology and collider physics (pdf)
Abstract: TBA
Monday, 12:30-1:00Richard SchneeDirect Searches for WIMP Dark Matter (pdf)
Abstract: TBA
1:00-2:30 Lunch
Monday, 2:30-3:00Bob Poltis and Evan HalsteadDark Energy, the Electroweak Vacua and Collider Phenomenology (pdf) (ppt)
Higher dimensional non-renormalizable operators may modify the Standard Model Higgs potential in many interesting ways. Here, we consider the appearance of a second vacuum which may play an important role in cosmology. For a certain range of parameters, the usual second order electroweak phase transition is followed by a first order phase transition that may drive the late time accelerated expansion of the universe. Such a potential contains kink-like solutions which in turn may play a crucial role in reconstructing the global shape of the Higgs potential.
Monday, 3:00-3:30Reijiro MatsuoBirkhoff's theorem in MOND (pdf) (ppt)
Abstract: TBA
Monday, 3:30-4:00Will KinneyReconstructing DBI (paper) (blackboard talk)
Abstract: TBA
4:00-4:30 Coffee break
Monday, 4:30-5:00Sean BryanMeasuring CMB Polarization with SPIDER (pdf)
Abstract: SPIDER is a balloon-borne experiment designed to measure the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) on large angular scales. During a long-duration flight around the world from Australia, the array of ~2000 polarization-sensitive bolometers in the payload will make a half-sky map of the CMB. The primary goal of SPIDER is to detect on the curl component (B-mode) of the CMB polarization pattern on the sky, which is a signature of the gravity wave background generated by inflation. The instrument will also measure the curl-free (E-mode) polarization pattern to high precision, which will improve measurements of the reionization history of the universe.
Monday, 5:00-5:30Eric GreenwoodQuantum Mechanical Effects in Gravitational collapse (pdf)
Abstract: TBA

Tuesday, Dec.9

Location: Sears 435 (across the quad, follow the signs)
Tuesday, 9:30-10:00Gang XuSignatures of Modulations in Axion Monodromy Inflation (pdf)
We study the CMB observables in axion monodromy inflation. Models in this class generically have monomial potentials over super-Planckian field ranges, with superimposed sinusoidal modulations from instanton effects. One therefore expects modulations in the two-point function and the three-point function. We find that microphysical constraints rule out the possibility of detectably-large non-Gaussianity produced via resonance. The scalar power spectrum is generically modulated, and we constrain the amplitude and frequency of this modulation using current data. Our results rely on relations between the axion decay constant and other scales in the theory, these relations are computable in string theory, and we speculate on their form in more general effective field theory realizations
Tuesday, 10:00-10:30De-Chang DaiNeutralino dark matter stars can not exist (pdf)
Abstract: TBA
Tuesday, 10:30-11:00Zak StaniszewskiCosmology with the South Pole Telescope (ppt)
Abstract: TBA
11:00-11:30 Coffee
Tuesday, 11:30-12:00Yi-Zen ChuThe N Body Problem In General Relativity From Perturbative Field Theory (pdf) (ppt)
Abstract: TBA
Tuesday, 12:00-12:30Kate Jones-SmithGravitational Radiation from Symmetry Breaking Phase Transitions (pdf) (ppt)
Abstract: TBA
Tuesday, 12:30-1:00Cristian Armendariz-PiconAre primordial perturbations statistically anisotropic? (paper) (blackboard talk)
Abstract: TBA
1:00 (packed) Lunch and end of workshop


You will be staying at the

Comfort Inn Hotel
1800 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115
phone: +1-216-861-0001

(denoted by A on the map)

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How to get from the Comfort Inn to Rockefeller 309 (Monday) and Sears 435 (Tuesday)

Drive east along Euclid Avenue, and make a right turn into Adalbert Road. The Veale Parking structure is located at the intersection of Adalbert and Circle Drive, just on the foot of a bridge crossing the railroad tracks (denoted by B in the above map). Bring your parking tickets to Lori in Rockefeller 205 to get them stamped to take advantage of free parking!

There are two exits, one on either side, so upon exiting garage, head north either towards, or along, the walkway bordering the link fenced athletic field. Come to a small circle of red pavers, cross it and proceed straight ahead (north) between the backs of the buildings on both sides. See a brick wall sign for Strosacker Auditorium on your left, turquoise/marble Kent Hayle Smith building on the right. A few more steps bring you, on the left, to the back entrance of the Rockefeller Physics Bldg. Enter the Rockefeller Physics Building.
On Monday, take either the elevator on the left or the stairs (which are to the right and through either door right next to the vending machines). Come up to 3rd floor to room 309 where coffee and cookies await you.
On Tuesday, walk through the doors near the vending machines, and leave the building through the front entrance (2 swinging doors). Walk straight across the quad. Sears is the building across the quad and to the left. You enter the building from the quad on the third level, so to reach room 435, walk up one floor on the stairs to your right. Room 435 is straight ahead of you.

Monday night dinner

(pictures by Mandeep Gill)

Monday night dinner will be at Li Wah Restaurant on 2999 Payne Ave, Cleveland, OH (phone: +1-216-696-6556), denoted by B on the map.

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How to get back to the hotel:

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Organizing Committee

Yi-Zen Chu
Irit Maor
Reijiro Matsuo
Glenn Starkman
Pascal M. Vaudrevange(*)

(*)Please send questions and comments to bccs08 (at)