Upcoming Colloquia

Astrophysical probes to the new physics beyond the Standard Model

Yue Zhao

University of Utah

Friday, October 22, 12:00 PM, C215 ESC


Particle physics research can significantly deepen people's understanding about the elementary building blocks and fundamental laws of nature. The Standard Model of particle physics provides the foundation of modern high energy physics. However, the Standard Model fails miserably in several aspects. First, it has no dark matter candidate. Further, there are a few super tiny parameters, such as the strong CP phase, which remains to be explained. Both aspects point to the existence of new physics beyond the Standard Model. In this talk, I will present two novel ways utilizing astrophysical observations to probe the existence of new physics. I will first talk about how to use the Gravitational Wave experiments, i.e.  LIGO and LISA, to search for ultra-light dark photon dark matter. Using LIGO's data, our result sets the world record on the unexplored parameter space. Then I will demonstrate that, with high spatial resolution, polarimetric imaging of a supermassive black hole by the Event Horizon Telescope can be used to probe the existence of axions. Through these two examples, we show that a nice bridge can be built between astrophysics and particle physics, and interesting particle physics questions can be answered by powerful astrophysical probes.

Biographical Sketch:

Yue Zhao is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah working on a variety of ways to explore new physics. He competed a Bachelors in Physics from Peking University in Beijing and a PhD in High Energy Physics from Rutgers. He comes to the University of Utah after two postdocs at Stanford and Michigan. He has received academic awards ranging from graduate support from the Department of Energy to a recent Fundamental Physics Innovation Award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. 

We welcome anyone who wish to attend, and typically serve refreshments ten minutes before the colloquium begins. Speakers generally keep their presentation accessible to undergraduate physics students.