Craig Hogan

Craig Hogan Craig Hogan, head of the Center for Particle Astrophysics, wrote this column. You may have heard lately that the famous cosmic dark matter — the mysterious new kind of stuff that makes up most of the gravitational mass of the universe — may not, in fact, be completely dark, but may actually emit small amounts of light. That would be very exciting, because we might detect the light and use it to help figure out what the stuff…

Big eyes

Craig Hogan Craig Hogan, head of the Center for Particle Astrophysics, wrote this column. To create small things you need particles with lots of energy, and to learn about them you need to capture and study lots of particles. So it is not surprising that the worldwide physics community is in the business of building giant accelerators and detectors. We also find out about new physics without using accelerators by studying the biggest system of all — the cosmos. Such…

Craig Hogan Craig Hogan, head of the Center for Particle Astrophysics, wrote this column. To a physicist, the entire expanding universe is a unique measurement apparatus ideally suited to explore some of the deepest mysteries of physics. Its large-scale structure and evolution is dominated by the gravity of exotic dark matter and dark energy and detectably influenced by the gravity of neutrinos; its contents experience far more extreme conditions than any material we can create on Earth, even in the…

Craig Hogan Craig Hogan, head of the Center for Particle Astrophysics, wrote this column. On Monday morning, cosmologists around the world felt a wave of ecstasy as they learned of a breathtaking discovery: a particular pattern of light coming from the early universe, imprinted on the cosmic expansion during its first moments. It feels like a love letter from Mother Nature has invited us to share her deepest secrets. All forms of matter and energy come in quanta — the…

Craig Hogan Craig Hogan, head of the Center for Particle Astrophysics, wrote this column. At Fermilab, we like frontier metaphors. Our founding director, Robert Wilson, who actually came from Frontier, Wyoming, established Fermilab’s own herd of bison (not to be confused with bosons) to remind us daily both of the pioneers who explored the wild continent and of the boundless opportunities that still remain for scientific discoveries on the expanding frontier of knowledge. Nowadays, we even talk about the different…

Craig Hogan Craig Hogan, head of the Center for Particle Astrophysics, wrote this column. Everyone knows that Fermilab builds accelerators, fabulous machines that boost elementary particles to almost the speed of light. But Fermilab accelerates more than just particles: It propels the advancement of our nation, and our technical civilization, into the future. Fermilab’s basic mission is to understand the nature of matter, energy, space and time. Since everything is made of matter moving in space-time, startling inventions often spring…

Craig Hogan Craig Hogan, director of the Center for Particle Astrophysics, wrote this column. The first great breakthrough of 20th-century physics came just as it dawned, in late 1900, when Max Planck derived from simple quantum principles an exact universal formula for the spectrum, or amount of light at each frequency, emitted by opaque matter. A related breakthrough in cosmology came many decades later, when it was found that radiation with precisely Planck’s spectrum is found not only in the…

Craig Hogan  If you hung around the Wilson Hall café at Friday lunch in recent years, you might have noticed a conspicuous group of men, well-dressed in dark suits and ties, and sometimes wearing dark shades. They’re not prohibition-era gangsters—no, these are the young scientists of the Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics, or COUPP, strutting their stuff. But you haven’t seen them lately, because they have literally gone underground—more than a mile underground, in a laboratory, deep in a…

Rocky III

Craig Hogan Craig Hogan, director of the Center for Particle Astrophysics, wrote this week’s column. No, this column is not about a movie featuring an American comeback slugger. Instead, I’m providing an update on a science strategy report that came out this summer. “Rocky III” is the nickname for the latest in a series of reports on dark energy chaired by Edward “Rocky” Kolb of the University of Chicago. Rocky’s team was asked to comment on the status and opportunities…