NPA Seminar: Nicole Lewis, Rice University, "Search for baryon number carrier in photonuclear processes and heavy-ion collisions at STAR"

Baryon number is a strictly conserved quantum number. It is conventionally assumed to be divided equally among the three valence quarks inside each baryon, but this has never been verified experimentally. An alternative model is the baryon junction: a Y-shaped configuration of nonperturbative gluons that is connected to all three valence quarks and carries the baryon number. In this talk we will present two measurements from the STAR experiment which are sensitive the baryon number carrier.

NPA Seminar: Nickolas Kokron, Princeton, "Probing the S(igma)-8 tension at the onset of stage-IV cosmic surveys"

In 1970, Allan Sandage famously described Cosmology as “A search for two numbers”. In the half-century since that description of the field was penned, as Stage III cosmic surveys come to an end and Stage-IV surveys begin taking data, the field finds itself having measured the six parameters of the concordance ΛCDM model at nearly 1% precision. However, different experiments now report different values for two of these parameters – namely the Hubble Constant and the variance of dark matter density fluctuations, S(igma) 8 – at varying levels of significance.

NPA Seminar: Adriaan Duivenvoorden, Flatiron Institute; Simons Foundation, "Cosmology from the fine details of the microwave sky with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the Simons Observatory"

Modern ground-based microwave observatories offer a high-resolution perspective on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and its secondary components, complementing galaxy surveys and the low resolution CMB data from the Planck and WMAP satellites. In this talk, I will introduce two such observatories, the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and the Simons Observatory. The ACT collaboration is preparing to release its sixth public data release. This release, DR6, is the result from a 6-year-long survey covering 40% of the sky at arcminute resolution.

NPA Seminar: Deepa Thomas, The University of Texas at Austin, "Probing hot QCD matter with charm and beauty quarks"

Ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions produce a hot and dense QCD matter, called Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP). Unlike in ordinary matter, quarks and gluons are not confined within short distances but can roam freely over distances larger than the hadronic scale in the state of QGP. Understanding this novel state of matter offers a new way to learn how quarks and gluons bind to form stable particles like the proton.

NPA Seminar: Stephen Kuenstner, Boston University, "Sensitive Searches for Axion Dark Matter with Solid-State Spin Ensembles"

In this talk, I’ll describe how we use solid-state spin ensembles, magnetic resonance, and quantum sensing techniques to search for axion dark matter in the third-generation CASPEr-e detector. Discovering and characterizing axion dark matter could resolve the longstanding Strong CP Problem, in addition to revealing the identity of dark matter. The Strong CP Problem stems from the puzzling lack of a CP-violating permanent electric dipole moment (EDM) in nucleons.

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