This series consists of talks in the areas of Cosmology, Gravitation and Particle Physics.
We argue that theories with multiple axions generically contain a large
number of vacua that can account for the smallness of the cosmological
constant. In a theory with N axions, the dominant instantons with charges Q
determine the discrete symmetry of vacua. Subleading instantons break the
leading periodicity and lift the vacuum degeneracy. For generic integer charges
the number of distinct vacua is given by |det(Q)|~exp(N). Our construction
motivates the existence of a landscape with a vast number of vacua in
The next hope to constrain cosmological parameters observationally is in surveys of the large scale structure (LSS) of the universe. LSS has the potential to rival the CMB in cosmological constraints because the number of modes scales like the volume, but the nonlinear clustering due to gravity makes it more difficult to extract primordial parameters. In order to take full advantage of the constraining power of LSS, we must understand it in the quasi-nonlinear regime.
Cosmic neutrinos carry a wealth of information about both cosmology and particle physics, but they are notoriously difficult to observe. Rapid advancement in measurements of the cosmic microwave background, however, have allowed us to indirectly constrain some properties of the cosmic neutrino background. I will discuss the current status and future prospects for improving constraints on cosmic neutrinos, focusing in part of the phase shift of acoustic peaks in the cosmic microwave background which results from neutrino fluctuations.
Magnetars are exceptional neutron stars with the highest magnetic
fields ( 10^15 gauss) in the universe, an unusual quasi steady X
radiation (10^35 ergs/sec) and also produce flares which are some of
the brightest events (10^46 ergs in one fifth of a second) to be
recorded. There is no satisfactory model of magnetars.
The talk will cover neutron stars and a new model for the origin of
the magnetic fields in which magnetars arise from a high baryon
Is the graviton a truly massless spin-2 particle, or can the graviton have a small mass? If the mass of the graviton is of order the Hubble scale today, it can potentially help to explain the observed cosmic acceleration. Previous attempts to study massive gravity have been spoiled by the fact that a generic potential for the graviton leads to an instability called the Boulware-Deser ghost. Recently, a special potential has been constructed which avoids this problem while maintaining Lorentz invariance.
Despite being ubiquitous throughout the Universe, the fundamental physics governing dark matter remains a mystery. While this physics plays little role in the current evolution of large-scale cosmic structures, it did have a major impact in the early epochs of the Universe on the evolution of cosmological density fluctuations on small causal length scales. Studying the astrophysical structures that resulted from the gravitational collapse of fluctuations on these small scales can thus yield important clues about the physics of dark matter.
I will first briefly report the current status on the stability problem of global AdS space under gravitational self-interaction. I will then present evidence that the possibility of a blackhole-forming instability is strongly connected to phase-locked cascade, which is different from the usual energy cascade in turbulent flow.
In order for quantum fluctuations during inflation to be converted to classical stochastic perturbations, they must couple to an environment which produces decoherence. Gravity introduces inevitable nonlinearities or mode couplings. We study their contribution to quantum-to-classical behavior during inflation. Working in the Schrodinger picture, we evolve the wavefunctional for scalar fluctuations, accounting for minimal gravitational nonlinearities. The reduced density matrix for a given mode is then found by integrating out shorter-scale modes.