#AAAC, day 1

Today was day 1 of the two-day Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee (that advises NSF, NASA, and the DOE on places of intellectual and funding overlap). In the meeting (which is open to all by phone) I learned various things. One is that the LISA Pathfinder has successfully arrived at L1 and is apparently fully functional, including in its high-tech thruster system. The test masses are set to be released in weeks (if I remember correctly). John Carlstrom (Chicago) gave a nice presentation about CMB Stage 4 experiments, which are ramping up. There is a lot still to learn from the CMB. He emphasized that foregrounds are the dominant issue for many important experiments, along with the lensing distortions. I have ideas about both, but especially foregrounds: I don't think the CMB community is using the most sophisticated, tractable models that are out there. I made a mental note to contact people off-line about this.

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