This series consists of talks in the areas of Cosmology, Gravitation and Particle Physics.
Despite tremendous recent progress, gaps remain in our knowledge of our cosmic history. For example, we have yet to make observations of Cosmic Dawn or the subsequent Epoch of Reionization. Together, these represent the important period when the first stars and galaxies were formed, dramatically altering their surroundings in the process. Radio telescopes targeting the 21cm line will open up these crucial epochs to direct observations in the next few years, filling in a missing chapter in our cosmic story.
If we want a mechanism for the current cosmic expansion that is alternative to (and possibly more “natural” than) the cosmological constant, there exist intriguing proposals within the dark energy and modified gravity realm.
First, I will briefly review the status of one of the most promising ideas, massive gravity: cosmological solutions, some formal aspects and recent developments. Then, I will present recent work aimed at constraining such models with LSS probes.
In the coming decade, ground based CMB telescopes could face a substantial upgrade, to so-called CMB-S4. There are two main science drivers behind this initiative: B-modes, and neutrino mass, and I will focus on the latter. Thought of more generally, constraints on neutrinos can be thought of as generic tests of dark matter. I will discuss the prospects for CMB-S4 in the dark sector, with emphasis on searches for axions and neutrinos.
In this talk, I will show how entropy perturbations created during a contracting phase and converted into adiabatic/curvature perturbations after a bounce form the dominant contribution to the observed temperature ﬂuctuations in the CMB.
We have great certainty on how gravity works around our solar system: General Relativity (GR) has been found to be very accurate at these small scales. On large scales though, we still have a considerable lack of understanding about the evolution of the universe, and its constituents. While the LCDM model is in good agreement with cosmological data, this might change in the future. For this reason, we need to test GR on these scales.
I will discuss how we constrain properties of the universe using two
tracers of large scale structure measured by the BOSS (Baryon
Oscillations Spectroscopic Experiment): galaxies and Lyman-alpha
forest. I will show recent results from baryonic acoustic oscillations
measured in both tracers and discuss cosmological implications. I
will briefly mention other measurements and consider forecasts for
quasar-forest bispectrum to constrain primordial non-Gaussianity.
Spectral distortions of the CMB provide a powerful new probe of early Universe processes. Even if so far no average spectral distortion has been seen, LCDM does predict several signals that are within reach of current technology. In this talk, I will give a broad brush overview of our most recent understanding of the formation and evolution of distortions in the early Universe, highlighting guaranteed LCDM signals and what we hope to learn from them about the Universe we live in.
Gravitational lensing by matter clumps can magnify various transient bursts in the sky, making them more detectable from the high redshift Universe. For one example, chirping gravitational waves from stellar-mass black hole binary mergers, as first detected by LIGO recently, can appear louder due to intervening galaxies.
In the last few years, we have made remarkable progress in understanding the properties of our observable Universe which appears to have evolved from a hot Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. The fine-tuning of initial conditions required to reproduce our present day Universe suggests that our Universe may merely be a region within an eternally inflating super-region. Many other regions could exist beyond our observable Universe with each such region governed by a different set of physical parameters than the ones we have measured for our Universe.