Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Space and Earth Science
Part of the National Security Education Center

CSES FY17 Events

High quality, cutting-edge science in the areas of astrophysics, space physics, solid planetary geoscience, and climate science

Conferences, Symposiums

November 4, 2016

The 32nd Annual New Mexico Symposium

Contact Lori Appel, CSES, for additional details.

LANL staff and postdocs may email Hui Li, CSES Astrophysics and Cosmology Focus Lead, about presenting at the symposium.

NRAO Science Operations Center (SOC), Socorro, NM

Sponsored by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and New Mexico Tech, the purpose of this symposium is to support the network of scientific research in the Southwest and encourage interdisciplinary discussions.

The is no registration fee, but anyone planning to attend must register by October 30th to facilitate planning.

New Mexico Symposium website

February 6-10, 2017

Fourth Santa Fe Conference on Global & Regional Climate Change

Santa Fe, New Mexico

This conference will focus on climate change and variability from observational and modeling perspectives. Special emphasis will be on climate forcings and feedbacks on global and regional scale, including polar regions.

Global & Regional Climate Change conference website


April 13
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Ed Daw, University of Sheffield: Gravitational Waves and Axions - Aspects of the Dark Universe Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Daw will describe the LIGO gravitational wave detectors, and the search for the axion, a dark matter candidate of increasing interest as the space for new electroweak physics is squeezed by ever-more-stringent null results.

April 3
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Prof. Nicholas Meskhidze, North Carolina State University: Effect of Atmospheric Dissolved Organic Carbon on the Iron Solubility in Seawater: Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

This talk will examine some previously unrecognized processes and elucidates the mechanisms that may affect aerosol sol-Fe on the timescale of minutes to days after deposition to the surface ocean. This talk will present i) novel experimental data that show that certain dissolved organic carbon species - found in deliquesced aerosols and cloud water - can considerably extend the lifetime of sol-Fe after deposition to the oceans, and ii) the results of numerical model simulations that show that in the presence of these organic acids in aerosol solution, over 95% of sol-Fe could bind with marine organic ligands and enter the oceanic DFe pool; this fraction reduces to ~ 15% for pure inorganic sol-Fe solution.

March 20
2:00 - 3:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Luke Johns, University of California - San Diego: Neutrinos and Nuclei in the Early Universe Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Johns will discuss the connection between neutrinos and nuclei in the early universe, emphasizing the leverage that the connection provides on physics beyond the Standard Model. An ongoing collaboration, with personnel stationed at LANL, UC San Diego, and elsewhere, is working at the frontier of this nuclear/particle/cosmology intersection. Johns will also give an overview of these research efforts.

March 16
12:30 - 1:30pm
LA Astro Seminar, Jonathan I. Katz, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Washington University: What's New in Fast Radio Bursts Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)


Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are not only the latest excitement in astrophysics, but are rapidly developing.


  • What can be inferred from the constant dispersion measure of the one repeating FRB? Does this contradict the required peak power?
  • Are bursts the result of a narrow but steady wandering beam, rather than sudden flashes?
  • Can electrostatic energy be stored in neutron star magnetospheres, and released in sudden bursts?
  • Are FRB the result of "dark" core collapse, making neutron stars without supernovae?
March 13
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, David Gutzler, University of New Mexico: Climate Change, Snowpack, and Water Resources in New Mexico Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

Presentation flyer (pdf)

March 7
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Prof. Kamini Singha, Colorado School of Mines: The Critical Role of Water in Critical Zone Science: An Exploration of Water Fluxes in the Earth’s Permeable Skin Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

Presentation flyer (pdf)

February 27
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Jonathan Zrake, Columbia University: Magnetic field dissipation in pulsar wind nebulae T-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Building 123, Room 121)

Zrake will discuss recent computational and analytic work that improves understanding of how magnetic energy dissipates in pulsar wind nebulae, and how they produce their radiation.

February 23
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Galen R. Gisler, LANL: Asteroid Threats Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Gisler will present a review of the current status of asteroid searches and the NNSA-NASA joint project on asteroid mitigation and will end with simulations of steroid-ocean impact that he has been performing with xRAGE.

February 14
10:30 - 11:30am
HEP/Cosmology Seminar, Matteo Fasiello, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics: LSS probes of Dark Energy T-Division Conference Room (TA-03, Building 123, Room 256)

Fasiello will briefly review the status of some of the most interesting proposals and then focus on LSS probes.

February 13
3:00 - 4:00pm
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Dr. Ben Livneh, University of Colorado - Boulder: Watershed Responses to Hydrologic Disturbances: Local, Regional, and National Perspectives Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

Presentation flyer (pdf)

February 13
2:00 - 3:00pm
HEP/Cosmology Seminar, Ema Dimastrogiovanni, Case Western Reserve University: Testing early Universe physics with upcoming observations Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Dimastrogiovanni will discuss how the microphysics of inflation may be tested in galaxy surveys through “fossil” signatures originating from squeezed primordial correlations.

February 9
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Prof. Pawan Kumar, University of Texas, Austin: The Mystery of Fast Radio Bursts, and its possible resolution Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Using very general arguments Kumar will show that the radio emission is coherent, the magnetic field strength associated with the source of these events should be 1014 Gauss or more, and the electric field is of order 1011 esu.

Kumar will also highlight recent work that magnetic reconnection is likely to be responsible for the strong electric field and the coherent radiation produced in these enigmatic events.

February 2
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Aycin Aykutalp, Georgia Institute of Technology: Black Hole Growth in the Early Universe Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Aykutalp will present results from cosmological radiation hydrodynamics simulations following the growth of direct collapse black holes including the X-ray irradiation from the central black hole and the distinct star formation and feedback models for the metal-free first stars and metal-enriched stars. Aykutalp will further highlight the importance of X-rays and their interactions particularly with metal-enriched gas on the formation and evolution of stellar populations.

January 31
1:10 - 3:00pm
Director’s Colloquium, Barbara Romanowicz, Professor and chair of Physics of the Earth’s Interior at UC Berkeley and Collège de France, Paris and Member, National Academy of Sciences: How global scale images inform our thinking about mantle dynamics Pete V. Domenici Auditorium. Talk is open to all Lab badge holders.

About Romanowics and summary of her talk (pdf)

January 26
11:00am - 12:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Jane Lixin Dai, University of Maryland: Tidal Disruption Events as a Probe of Super-Eddington Accretion Otowi Building, 2nd Floor, Side Room A&B

Dai will first show the observational evidence that a jetted tidal disruption event (TDE) Sw 1644 indeed exhibited signatures of super-Eddington accretion. She will also give a quick overview on TDE physics, and present theoretical calculations on what parameters of the black hole mass and stellar orbit can lead to fast disk assembly and super-Eddington accretion. Lastly, she will talk about ongoing general relativistic radiation magnetohydrodynamics simulations of super-Eddington accretion disks in the context of TDEs.

January 19, 2017
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Anna Kwa, UC Irvine: Searches for Dark Physics in the Sky: Two Possible Avenues for Detecting Dark Matter in Astrophysical Observations Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

In the first half of the seminar, Kwa will talk about indirect gamma-ray searches for evidence of weakly-interacting massive particle (WIMP) dark matter annihilating in dense astrophysical regions. For the last half of the seminar she will discuss atomic dark matter as an example of the broader class of self-interacting dark matter models.

January 19, 2017
11:00am - 12:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Alex Chen, Columbia University: PIC Simulations of the Twisted Magnetospheres of Magnetars ​Otowi Building, 2nd Floor, Side Room C

Chen will discuss the mechanism of magnetar activity with plasma simulations using the particle-in-cell (PIC) technique.

January 12, 2017
1:00 - 2:00pm
LA Astro Seminar, Jirina R. Stone, University of Tennessee: Low Energy Nuclear Structure Modeling: Can it be improved? Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Stone will give a basic about the change between the nucleon-nucleon force in free space and in nuclear environments, the saturation property of the nuclear force and effects of the sub-nucleon (quark) structure of the nucleon. Selected classes of nuclear models, shell models, mean field models, microscopic-macroscopic and ab-initio models, will be discussed with emphasis on their regions of applicability. Finally, suggestions will be made for, at least partial, progress that can be made with the quark-meson coupling model, as reported in the recent publication.

December 16
LA Astro Seminar, Jonas Lippuner, CalTech: The origin of heavy elements: r-process nucleosynthesis in neutron star mergers T-DO Conf Room, TA-3, Bldg 123

Lippuner will discuss the origin of the elements with an emphasis on heavy elements, give an overview of the slow and rapid neutron capture processes (s- and r-process), briefly address the open question of the r-process site, and then describe recent nucleosynthesis results he has obtained with his reaction network code SkyNet.

December 15
LA Astro Seminar, Marius Eichler, TU Darmstadt: The Third r-Process Peak and the Origin of the p-Nuclei 92,94Mo and 96,98Ru Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Eichler will address the nucleosynthesis of the p-nuclei 92,94Mo and 96,98Ru in 2D core-collapse supernova simulations of a 11.2 solar mass and 17.0 solar mass star.

December 2
LA Astro Seminar, Emanuela (Ema) Dimastrogiovanni, Arizona State University: Testing early Universe physics with upcoming observations T-Div. Conf Room, TA-3, Bldg 123

Dimastrogiovanni will discuss how the microphysics of inflation may be tested in galaxy surveys through “fossil” signatures originating from squeezed primordial correlations.

December 1
LA Astro Seminar, Patrick Slane, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: Energetic Windbags Young and Old: The Evolving Story of Pulsar Wind Nebulae T-4 Conference Room (TA-03, Building 524, Room 105)

Slane will provide a broad overview of the structure and evolution of pulsar wind nebulae, with specific examples of observations extending from the radio band to very high energy gamma-rays, and of hydrodynamical studies of these nebulae evolving within their host supernova remnants.

December 1
LA Astro Seminar, Siyao Xu, Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University: Magnetic Field's travels from Lilliput to Brobdingnag: Turbulent Dynamo in a Partially Ionized Plasma JRO 1&2 Conference Rooms (TA-03, Building 207, Room 111 & 112)

Xu will will discuss theoretical work on the nonlinear turbulent dynamo and the resulting MHD turbulence in a partially ionized plasma. Xu will also briefly discuss the implications of the results on, e.g., primordial star formation, structure formation in molecular clouds, a new method of measuring magnetic field strength in molecular clouds, and cosmic ray propagation in the partially ionized interstellar medium.

November 29
LA Astro Seminar, Jonah Miller, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics : Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Relativistic Astrophysics T-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Building 123, Room 121)

Miller will briefly introduce numerical relativity and discuss his work on discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods, which he believes offer a mathematically beautiful and computationally efficient way to solve computational astrophysics problems.

November 17
LA Astro Seminar, Nilanjan Banik, University of Florida: BAO in the presence of significant redshift uncertainty Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Banik will present results of his analysis done on mocks known as Halogen samples, which were constructed to match the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Year 1 sample.

November 14
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Prof. Michael Whitney, University of Connecticut: Including Estuary Processes in Earth System Models Physics Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 215)

Whitney will discuss development of and results for an estuary box model applied to the Community Earth System Model.

Presentation flyer (pdf)

November 3
LA Astro Seminar, Parviz Ghavamian, Towson University: Balmer-Dominated Supernova Remnants and the Physics of Collisionless Shocks Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Ghavamian will describe some of the latest results in the study of Balmer-dominated shocks, including how the Balmer line spectra can provide a sensitive probe of the physics of electron-ion temperature equilibration.

October 27
LA Astro Seminar, Emil Mottola, T-2: Scalar Gravitational Waves in the Effective Theory of Gravity Research Park (TA-03, Bldg. 4200, Conference Room 203 A&B)

Abstract (pdf)

October 20
CSES Presentation, Evan Grohs, University of San Diego: Towards a High Precision Treatment of Neutrino Cosmology Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Grohs' talk will focus on the epoch when the neutrinos decouple from the thermal plasma and the numerical models of the weak, strong, and electromagnetic reactions between the constituents of the early universe.

Presentation flyer (pdf)

October 17
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Dr. W. Matt Jolly, U.S. Forest Service: Exploring spatial and temporal connections between climate, vegetation dynamics and wildland fire potential EES-DO Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 215, Room 275)

Jolly discusses a new theory of live fuel flammability variations that integrates both physical and plant physiological processes to explain seasonal ignitability variations in live and dead fuels.

Presentation flyer (pdf)

October 13
LA Astro Seminar, Roseanne M. Cheng, Center for Astrophysical Sciences, Johns Hopkins University: Developing Numerical Tools for Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Cheng will showcase a set of numerical tools for simulating the tidal disruption of a star by a black hole.

October 11
Frontiers in Geoscience Colloquium, Prof. Hajo Eicken, University of Alaska Fairbanks: Responding to rapid Arctic change – Closing the gap between desired outcomes and Arctic system science MSL Auditorium (TA-3, Bldg 1698)

How can the research community work most effectively with the peoples of the Arctic and a wider circle of stakeholders in supporting response actions to such rapid Arctic change?

In his presentation, Eicken will outline specific challenges deriving from this overarching question, in particular as they relate to the types of prediction and observing systems required to meet stakeholder information needs.

Presentation flyer (pdf)

October 6
LA Astro Seminar, Bill Myers: What's an Analemma? An introduction to celestial navigation for prospective open ocean sailors or a little cultural broadening for the rest of us. Challenge Conference Room (TA-03, Building 200, Room 256)

Myers, retired LBL physicist, ocean sailor with 19 Pacific Ocean crossings and navigation prize winner, explains how the position of the sun at noon can be used to determine latitude and longitude.

October 5
Giday WoldeGabriel, George Buthrie and Jeff Heikoop, EES: Rare Earth Elements in Coals and Coal-Byproducts: Prospecting for Domestic Unconventional Strategic Mineral Resources EES-DO Conference (Ta-03, Bldg. 215, Rm)

The presentation will highlight background information on REEs+Y, preliminary studies at LANL, and ongoing national efforts to develop efficient extraction methods.

Abstract (pdf)

October 4
LA Astro Seminar, Savvas Koushiappas, Brown University: Dark matter searches and cosmological questions T-DO Conference Room (TA-03, Building 123, Room 121)

Koushiappas will discuss details of the indirect search in the context of current experimental efforts. In addition, he will discuss the cosmological effects of dark matter decays and how one can use these to make predictions for a next generation of cosmological probes.

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