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Newsletter Institute of Cosmos Sciences DEFENDED THESES Non-thermal emission from high-energy binaries through interferometric radio observations, B. Marcote, supervised by J.M. Paredes (ICCUB) and M. Ribó (ICCUB), 27/10/2015 AdS/CFT Correspondence and Superconductivity: Various Approaches and Magnetic Phenomena, A. Dector, supervised by J.G. Russo (ICCUB) , 28/10/2015 Some theoretical and experimental aspects of axion physics, A. Renau, supervised by F. Mescia (ICCUB) and D. Espriu (ICCUB), 11/11/2015 Correspondences in higher-dimensional gravity, A. Di Dato, supervised by R. Emparan (ICCUB), 12/11/2015 High performance computing of massive Astrometry and Photometry data from Gaia, J. Castañeda, supervised by C. Fabricius (ICCUB) and J. Torra (ICCUB), 15/12/2015 Caracterització de la contaminació lumínica en zones protegides i urbanes, S. Ribas, supervised by J. Torra (ICCUB), 27/01/2016 Wideband pulse amplifiers for the integrated cameras of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, A. Sanuy, supervised by D. Gascón (ICCUB), 4/2/2016 Analytic Derivation of Non-Linear Dark Matter Clustering from the Filtering of the Primordial Density Field, E. Joan, supervised by E. Salvador (ICCUB), 5/2/2016 Microscopic analysis of rotating black holes, A. Maccarrone, supervised by R. Emparan (ICCUB), 8/2/2016


Issue 2016-1, April 2016

HIGHLIGHTS AstroNet II arrives to its end [+] Roberto Emparan receives an ERC Advanced Grant [+] The most energetic light ever observed from a pulsar [+] Are Earth-like planets our best bet for finding extra-terrestrial life? [+] Extremely diffuse light detected around quasars in the distant Universe [+] Night Sky in Barcelona, up to six times more brilliant if there are clouds [+] ICCUB researchers, top cited in two researcher rankings [+]

S O L A R P H YS I C S SOL2UP and HESPERIA, two projects to study the solar particle radiation environment [+]

I CC U B CO L LO Q U I A New Edition of the ICCUB Colloquia [+]

TRAINING Barcelona TechnoWeek, a new school by ICCUB initiative [+]

O U T R E AC H 160 students from 150 high schools participate in the 11th Edition of the Masterclass on Particle Physics [+] The ICCUB participates at Espai Ciència of Saló de l’Ensenyament [+]

HIGHLIGHTS AstroNet II arrives to its end


AstroNet II, a Marie-Curie Research Training Network on Astrodynamics coordinated by ICCUB member Gerard Gómez, arrived to its end in December 2015. Since 2012, AstroNet II has brought together mathematicians, engineers and astronomers from different universities, governmental space agencies and aerospace industries, to work on astrodynamic problems related to trajectory design and attitude control, structural flexibility of spacecraft and formation flying. A proposal for a new network, Astron3t, has been submitted.

The Coherent Lagrangian Structure formalism Barcelona, Facultat de Física (LCS) can be use to study the dynamics of the three body problem.

Roberto Emparan receives an ERC Advanced Grant

Are Earth-like planets our best bet for finding extra-terrestrial life?

Night Sky in Barcelona, up to six times more brilliant if there are clouds

Rorberto Emparan, ICREA researcher at ICCUB, has been awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) for his project A New Strategy for Gravity and Black Holes. The call received close to 2000 applications. The success rate in this call has not been announced yet, but in the previous call it was only 8.5%. The funding is up to 2.5 million Euros per grant and lasts up to five years. General Relativity encompasses a huge variety of physical phenomena and provides the basis to our understanding of the Universe and its evolution at the largest scales. Black holes play a central role in this theory. However, their equations are exceedingly hard to solve. The awarded project led by R. Emparan is aimed at developing a novel approach to solve black hole physics by using the number of dimensions D as a perturbation parameter.

Our planet, the Earth, is not a fair representation of other life-bearing planets, while mankind is not a fair reflection of intelligent species, concludes a study published in the MNRAS by ICCUB researcher Fergus Simpson. Using a statistical calculation, Simpson estimates that most sentient extra-terrestrial species exceed 300 kg, similar to the mass of an adult polar bear. This result is based solely on the premise that, on average, physically larger organisms possess smaller populations. Following a similar line of reasoning, Simpson also finds that the majority of planets which host life are smaller than the Earth. [MNRAS Letters, 456 (2016) L59. This work has also been featured in an animation by MinutePhysics:]

In his PhD thesis Characterization of light pollution in protected and urban areas, which has been supervised by ICCUB member Jordi Torra, ICCUB collaborator Salvador Ribas quantifies how the presence of clouds affects to the luminosity of the night sky in both protected and urban areas. The study, made in Barcelona and in the protected area of Montsec, shows that in urban areas clouds can rise the sky luminosity up to six times, whereas in protected areas they can even decrease it.

The most energetic light ever observed from a pulsar Scientists from the MAGIC collaboration including ICCUB researchers Roberta Zanin and Daniel Galindo have reported the discovery of the most energetic pulsating radiation ever detected from a stellar object: the Crab pulsar, a tiny neutron star. The new observations detected photons with energies a thousand times larger than the previously observed. This discovery questions our knowledge about this kind of stars and opens new challenges for acceleration of particles in extreme media. [A&A, 585 (2016) A133]

Extremely diffuse light detected around quasars in the distant Universe A team from the SDSS-III Collaboration, including the ICREA researcher at ICCUB Jordi Miralda, has tentatively discovered the presence of an extremely diffuse light around distant quasars. The discovery was made by measuring the cross-correlation of Lyman-α surface brightness with quasars in the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), which allowed to detect the large-scale structure of Lyman-α emission in the Universe at redshifts z = 2–3.5. It was shown that there is a systematic excess of Lyman alpha light being emitted near the quasars. [MNRAS, 457 (2016) 3541]

ICCUB researchers, top cited in two researcher rankings Licia Verde, ICREA researcher at the ICCUB, is among the top-cited researchers in the world, according to the Highly Cited Researchers report from Thomson Reuters. About three thousand researchers earned this distinction by writing the greatest number of papers ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication. For the analysis, only Highly Cited Papers in journals indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection during the 11-year period 2003-2013 were surveyed, in order to recognize early and mid-career as well as senior researchers. At the same time, 9 ICCUB researchers are among the top 1% most cited scientists in Spanish Institutions, according to the first edition of Webometrics report, based on the Google Scholar Citations public profiles of 10,000 scientists working in Spain.

SOLAR PHYSICS SOL2UP and HESPERIA, two projects to study the solar particle radiation environment The heliosphere is a uniquely accessible domain of space, where fundamental physical processes common to solar, astrophysical, and laboratory plasmas can be studied under conditions impossible to reproduce on Earth, or to study from astronomical distances. Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) are accelerated by solar eruptive phenomena such as flares and collisionless shock waves driven by coronal mass ejections, the largest of them being capable of affecting the entire heliospheric environment. SEP events may affect the vulnerability of orbiting satellites and ground based systems and cause damage to electronics on board spacecraft. In order to further understand the physics of SEP

events, the European Space Agency will launch the Solar Orbiter mission in October 2018. In preparation for that, the Heliospheric Physics and Space Weather group of the ICCUB, lead by Blai Sanahuja, is developing models to predict the harsh radiation environment that Solar Orbiter will encounter, and tools to facilitate the analysis of the particle measurements that it will gather. When planning space missions, agencies use SEP environment models to estimate the level of radiation that interplanetary spacecraft may suffer. One of these models, the Solar Energetic Particle Environment Model (SEPEM), is currently under development. The ICCUB team was recently awarded an ESA-sponsored project, SOL2UP, to update the physics-based module of the SEPEM model. The SOLPENCO2 (SOLar Particle ENgineering COde 2) tool provides the heliocentric radial distance

scaling (from 0.2 AU to 1.6 AU) of the maximum intensity and fluence during SEP events for 5-200 MeV protons. The group is also currently involved in HESPERIA, a project funded by the European Union under the H2020 programme. The ICCUB group is leading the development of the first inversion method to infer the sources of relativistic SEPs (> 500 MeV) based on the observations provided by the worldwide network of ground-based neutron monitors. Relativistic SEPs provide a vital observational basis for understanding the most energetic acceleration processes occurring during solar eruptive events. Moreover, because of their large speed, these particles provide a clear picture of the particle release time history at the Sun and the properties of their transport along the interplanetary magnetic field.

CARTOON DEPICTING THE MAIN SOURCES OF SOLAR ENERGETIC PARTICLES IN THE HELIOSPHERE. Simultaneous observations of magnetic field lines connecting back to flare sites (inset 1) and to shock fronts driven by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (inset 2) are required to determine the relative importance of the associated acceleration processes [credit: Adapted from NASA’s Solar Sentinels STDT report].



New Edition of the ICCUB Colloquia The 2016 Edition of the ICCUB Colloquia has started with talks by N. Shaviv (Racah Inst. of Physics), expert on astrophysics and climate science, and F. Quevedo (U. Cambridge), expert on superstring phenomenology . The Edition will continue with more talks given by world renowned speakers about cutting-edge topics in cosmology, astrophysics and particle physics. The confirmed speakers at the moment are: Andrew C. Fabian (Inst. of Astronomy, U. Cambridge), K. Langanke (Technische U. Darmstadt) and L. Verde (ICCUB).

14 apr, 12:00: ICCUB Col. Heating and Cooling in Clusters of Galaxies, by A.C. Fabian, Aula Magna, Physics Sch., UB ICCUB COLLOQUIA SPEAKERS 2016 From the left to the right: N. Shaviv, F. Quevedo, Andrew C. Fabian, K. Langanke and L. Verde

19 May, 12:00: ICCUB Col. by K. Langanke, Room 101, Physics Sch., UB 23-25 May: IV Reunión Científica de la Red Española de Explotación Científica de Gaia, Physics Sch., UB

ICCUB Colloquia at Youtube: More than 3000 views

22-27 May: Workshop Multiparticle Entanglement, Centro de Ciencias Pere Pascual, Benasque

Since the creation of the channel, ICCUB Colloquia videos of the 2015 Edition have received more than 3000 visits.

15-17 Jun: Meeting on Fundamental Cosmology, Aula Magna, Physics Sch., UB


11-15 Jul: First Barcelona Techno Week: Course on semiconductor detectors, Physics Sch., UB 5-16 Sep: Course Advanced Topics in Statistical Methods for Experimental Sciences, by V.R. Vanin, Physics Sch., UB

First Barcelona TechnoWeek

27-29 Sep: THOR Worskhop #2, “Exploring plasma energization in space turbulence”, Aula Eduard Fontserè, Physics Sch., UB

Barcelona TechnoWeek, a new school by ICCUB initiative The Barcelona TechnoWeeks will be a series of meeting point events between academia and industry about different technological topics. In its first edition, held from July 11th to 15th at the Physics School of the UB, the school will offer the Course on Semiconduc-

tor Detectors, which will include lectures about solid state radiation detection, from physics and electronics fundamentals to state-of-the-art reviews on radiation, and visible light detection technologies and their applications. This school has been created by ICCUB as part of its program as Centro de Excelencia María de Maeztu.

OUTREACH 160 students from 150 high schools participate in the 11th Edition of the Masterclass on Particle Physics The Masterclass, organized at an international level by IPPOG and known in Catalonia as Taller de Física de Partícules, has been organized by the Experimental Particle Physics Group of the ICCUB since 2005. The 2016 edition was held on February 26th and March 11th. During one day, the participants, which had been selected by their teachers for their special interest in Physics, attended to several talks about particle physics and studied real data from the LHC. A special session for high school teachers was also held on the 29th February.

The ICCUB participates at Espai Ciència of Saló de l’Ensenyament The 2016 edition of Espai Ciència took place at Fira de Barcelona from March 9th to 13th. The ICCUB participated in the UB and CERCA stands and offered two outreach activities: the Mini-Masterclass on Particle Physics and the Workshop on Cosmic Distances.

17-21 Oct: Course Machine Learning and Data Mining school, Physics Sch., UB 19-22 Oct: The Vacuum of the Universe: from Cosmology to Particle Physics, Physics Sch., UB

OUTREACH ACTIVITIES 22 Sep 2015 -19 Jun 2016: Course Astronomia i Meteorologia 2015-2016. Universitat de l’experiència, Phys Sch., UB. 28 Apr-23 Jun: Course Astronomia: els secrets de l’Univers. Gaudir UB, Casa Jeroni Graell (Barcelona). 11 Sep-30 Oct: : Exhibition De la Terra a l’Univers, Museu Palau Mercader, Hospitalet de Llobregat


Institute of Cosmos Sciences C. Martí i Franquès 1 08028 Barcelona

ICCUB Newsletter 03 - April 2016  
ICCUB Newsletter 03 - April 2016