Cosmology & Gravitation

This series consists of talks in the areas of Cosmology, Gravitation and Particle Physics.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

 

Tuesday Sep 27, 2011
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I'll discuss how to systematically construct a (d+2)-dimensional solution of the vacuum Einstein equations that is dual to a (d+1)-dimensional fluid satisfying the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations with specific higher-derivative corrections. The solution takes the form of a non-relativistic gradient expansion that is in direct correspondence with the hydrodynamic expansion of the dual fluid. The dual fluid has nevertheless an underlying description in terms of relativistic hydrodynamics, with the unusual property of having a vanishing equilibrium energy density.

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Wednesday Aug 10, 2011

Cosmic strings are predicted to arise in both inflationary
and non-inflationary cosmological models. The signatures of
such strings will stand out particularly well at higher
redshifts. I will discuss how to look for these signatures
in CMB redshift and polarization maps and in 21cm redshift
surveys.

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Friday Jul 08, 2011

String theory should give a well-defined answer to the following question: What is the state of matter in the limit of infinite energy density? We use results obtained from the understanding of black hole entropy to conjecture this equation of state, noting that the maximum entropy state in string theory has vastly more entropy than the states used in traditional approaches to early Universe Cosmology. The evolution of the Universe with this equation of state can be obtained in closed form.

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Tuesday Jun 28, 2011
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It is argued that the correct quantization of a scalar field theory in de Sitter spacetime involves a de Sitter invariant state which is not the Bunch-Davies vacuum. A novel but natural de Sitter invariant alternative exists and it is suggested that this and is the prefered state for scalar field theories. The argument is based on the exact solution of an interacting scalar field theory.

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Tuesday May 31, 2011
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Though the observed CMB is at very low energy, it encodes ultra high-energy physics in spatial variations of the photon temperature and polarization fluctuations. This effect is believed to be dominated by the initial quantum state of the Universe. I will describe the first theoretical tools by which to construct such a state from fundamental physics.

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Tuesday May 24, 2011
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Recently, emergent phenomena have started to attract more attention. Instead of assuming a symmetric world, one begins with a chaotic one. In this talk, I will describe this picture, discuss the main constraints on emergence, and then present a few phenomenological procedures that can be implemented to study the emergent phenomena.

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Tuesday May 17, 2011
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The model of local non-Gaussianity, parameterized by the constant non-linearity parameter fNL, is an extremely popular description of non-Gaussianity. However, a mild scale-dependence of fNL is natural. This scale dependence is a new observable, potentially detectable with the Planck satellite, which helps to further discriminate between models of inflation. It is sensitive to properties of the early universe which are not probed by the standard observables.

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Tuesday May 10, 2011
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In recent years, a number of observations have highlighted anomalies that might be explained by invoking dark matter annihilation. The excess of high energy positrons in cosmic rays reported by the PAMELA experiment is only one of the most prominent examples of such anomalies. Models where dark matter annihilates offer an attractive possibility to explain these

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Wednesday Apr 20, 2011
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We use a field theoretic generalization of the Wigner-Weisskopf method to study the stability of the Bunch-Davies vacuum state for a massless, conformally coupled interacting test field in de Sitter space. A simple example of the impact of vacuum decay upon a non-gaussian correlation is discussed. Single particle excitations also decay into two particle states, leading to particle production that hastens the exiting of modes from the de Sitter horizon resulting in the production of \emph{entangled superhorizon pairs} with a population consistent with unitary evolution.

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