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 Apr 27, 2010
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We have announced the results from 7 years of observations of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) on January 26. In this talk we will present the cosmological interpretation of the WMAP 7-year data, including the detection of primordial helium, images of polarization of microwave background around temperature peaks, and new limits on inflation and properties of neutrinos. We also report a significant detection of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect and discuss implications for the gas pressure in clusters of galaxies.

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Tuesday Apr 20, 2010
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We present a holographic description of four-dimensional single-scalar inflationary universes in terms of a three-dimensional quantum field theory. The holographic description correctly reproduces standard inflationary predictions in their regime of applicability. In the opposite case, wherein gravity is strongly coupled at early times, we propose a holographic description in terms of perturbative QFT and present models capable of satisfying the current observational constraints while exhibiting a phenomenology distinct from standard inflation.

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Tuesday Apr 13, 2010
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We discuss a candidate mechanism through which one might address the various cosmological constant problems. We observe that the renormalization of gravitational couplings manifests non-local modifications to Einstein's equations as quantum corrected equations of motion, and in doing so offers a complimentary realization of the degravitation paradigm-- a realization through which its non-linear completion and the corresponding modified Bianchi identities are readily understood.

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Tuesday Apr 06, 2010
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After prodigious work over several decades, binary black hole mergers can now be simulated in fully nonlinear numerical relativity. However, these simulations are still restricted to mass ratios q = m2/m1 > 1/10, initial spins a/M < 0.9, and initial separations r/M < 10. Fortunately, analytical techniques like black-hole perturbation theory and the post-Newtonian approximation allow us to study much of this region in parameter space that remains inaccessible to numerical relativity.

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Tuesday Mar 23, 2010
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Stellar evolution from a protostar to neutron star is of one of the best
studied subjects in modern astrophysics. Yet, it appears that there is still
a lot to learn about the extreme conditions where the fundamental particle physics meets strong gravity regime. After all of the thermonuclear fuel is spent, and
after the supernova explosion, but before the remaining mass crosses its own
Schwarzschild radius, the temperature of the central core of the star might
become higher than the electroweak symmetry restoration temperature. The

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Tuesday Mar 09, 2010
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We report on a new class of fast-roll inflationary models. In a part of its parameter space, inflationary perturbations exhibit quite unusual phenomena such as scalar and tensor modes freezing out at widely different times, as well as scalar modes reentering the horizon during inflation. One specific point in parameter space is characterized by extraordinary behavior of the scalar perturbations. Freeze-out of

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Tuesday Mar 02, 2010
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Primordial non-Gaussianity has been traditionaly constrained using three-point function of the cosmic microwave background. Two years ago, however, Dalal et al have shown that non-Gaussianity of the local type induces a scale dependent bias for biased tracers of the underlying dark matter structure. This allows constraining of the primordial non-Gaussianity from measurements of large-scale structure provided by redshift surveys. I will discuss the technique, its theoretical aspects,

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Tuesday Feb 02, 2010
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The quest to understand the nature of dark matter is entering a remarkable data-rich era. Hypothetical stable, electrically neutral particles with TeV-scale mass and weak-strength couplings are a simple, theoretically appealing, but untested candidate for the dark matter. I will summarize recent results in both direct and indirect searches for dark matter, and highlight what upcoming data may teach us. I will also discuss the key role of accelerator-based experiments and novel astrophysical measurements in understanding dark matter and its connection to Standard Model physics.

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