Colloquium Event

Video From Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium: Masha Baryakhtar

Tue March 8th 2022, 3:30pm
Hewlett Teaching Center, Rm. 200

Video Link





Tuesday, March 8, 2022

3:30 p.m. on campus in Hewlett Teaching Center, Rm. 200

Light refreshments served in Varian lobby at 3:15 p.m.

Please register to attend:

Please wear face coverings and practice social distancing

In-person attendance limited to Stanford affiliates

Zoom webinar link:
    Password: email dmoreau@stanford for password


Masha Baryakhtar
University of Washington


Searching for New Particles in the Sky


Theories that seek to explain the outstanding puzzles of the Standard Model of particle physics often predict new, light, feebly-interacting particles whose discovery requires novel search strategies. Perhaps the most motivated of these particles is the QCD axion, which can elegantly solve the outstanding strong-CP problem of the Standard Model; cousins of the QCD axion such as the dark photon can also appear.  In light of these particles' small masses and weak interactions, we turn to the sky for clues of their existence. We will see how extreme astrophysical environments produce ultralight particles, with prospects of dramatic signatures and direct laboratory detections. I will discuss how rotating black holes source clouds of exponentially large numbers of gravitationally-bound particles and so create nature's laboratories for ultralight bosons. Depending on the new particles' interactions with our matter and with one another, these clouds could be visible across the spectra: emitting monochromatic gravitational wave radiation, populating the galaxy with axion waves, or appearing as novel pulsar-like objects in the sky.