Astro Tuesday: Akhil Premkumar (KICP)  and Cosmin Deaconu (KICP)

12:00–1:00 pm ERC 501

Host: Austin Joyce

Akhil Premkumar (KICP)  "A Tail of Eternal Inflation"

The theory of inflation allows for the possibility that inflation never ends in some patches of space, leading to a scenario called ‘eternal inflation’. This is often understood from a semiclassical description of the inflationary era, called Stochastic Inflation, where the time evolution of various Hubble patches can be modeled as a random walk. We recently discovered that this description is highly sensitive to rare fluctuations which are not well-described by present effective theories. I will explain these findings with some simple analogies.

Cosmin Deaconu (KICP) "To the moon with CryptEx"

The Cryptomaria Explorer (CryptEx) is a proposed lunar lander mission that seeks to make the first ground-based measurements of cryptomaria, the buried lunar basaltic lava flows inferred to exist on the moon. CryptEx will land in a region believed to have cryptomaria, and utilize both active and passive seismic and radio instruments to characterize its presence, depth and properties. I will focus on the radio instrumentation, which consists of an 8 channel antenna array   (~0.1 - ~1 GHz  bandwidth)  as well as a signal generator, together forming a static ground penetrating radar. Opportunistic Askaryan emission from Lunar-impacting cosmic rays will provide a second, "roving" signal source.  We will also measure the radio thermal gradient of the regolith (lunar soil), and terrestrial noise in the antenna backlobes.

Event Type


Jan 10