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 Nov 18, 2008
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It is argued that space-time is discretized on the basis of the gravitational interactions among the degrees of freedom of quantum fields.Configurations of fields fall into 2 classes,propagating (cisplanckian in length scale) and those that are transplanckian, sequestered in the space-time that is localized in discrete elements.Only the former determine the hubble expansion parameter and are therefore used to construct the inflaton.The model used for discretization is Sorkin\'s causet construction.From this the covariant massy Klein Gordon equation can be rationalized.The mass is encoded a

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Friday Nov 14, 2008
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I will illustrate the case of interacting dark Energy, that is to say cosmologies in which the dark energy scalar field interacts with other things in the universe (gravity, cold dark matter or neutrinos).

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Tuesday Nov 11, 2008

The Lee-Wick model has recently been put forwards as an alternative to supersymmetry for solving the hierarchy problem of particle physics. I will show that, modulo important consistency questions, coupling the Lee-Wick model to cosmology leads to a bouncing universe cosmology with a scale-invariant spectrum of cosmological fluctuations emerging from quantum vacuum fluctuations in the contracting phase.

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Thursday Oct 30, 2008
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The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is our most important source of information about the early universe. Many of its features are in good agreement with the predictions of the so-called standard model of cosmology -- the Lambda Cold Dark Matter Inflationary Big Bang. However, the large-angle correlations in the microwave background exhibit several statistically significant anomalies compared to the predictions of the standard model. On the one hand, the lowest multipoles seem to be correlated not just with each other but with the geometry of the solar system.

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Tuesday Oct 28, 2008
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The Dark Energy might constitute an observable fraction of the total energy density of our Universe as far back as the time of matter radiation equality or even big bang nucleosynthesis. In this talk, I will review the cosmological implications of such an \'Early Dark Energy\' component, and discuss how it might - or might not - be detected by observations. In particular, I will show how assuming the early dark energy to be negligible will bias the interpretation of cosmological data.

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Friday Oct 24, 2008
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One of the most challenging problems in theoretical physics today is the so called cosmological constant problem. While current observational constraints are consistent with the predictions of GR with a tiny cosmological constant, often referred to as the dark energy, it remains possible that it\'s the deviation of the law of gravity at large distance from Einstein\'s theory that resolves the puzzle.

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Tuesday Oct 21, 2008
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In this talk I will discuss gravitational wave production by early universe sources. I will focus on the gravitational waves produced by a network of cosmic strings and the bounds that can be placed on cosmic string model parameters using current and future experiments. I will also talk about recent work on gravitational waves produced by sources in the early universe when the expansion of the universe cannot be neglected. As an example of such a process I will consider the preheating epoch that may follow inflation.

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Friday Oct 17, 2008
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I\'ll discuss three promising upcoming experimental measurements that will probe the expansion history of the universe: (1) growth bases tests of Dark Energy with the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect, including new results from the South Pole Telescope and APEX-SZ, (2) inflationary constraints that will be provided by the next generation of CMB-polarization experiments, with prospects from EBEX, and (3) standard ruler measurements from Baryon Acoustic oscillations, including an introduction to an ambitious new Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping initiative called CHIME.

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Tuesday Oct 14, 2008
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WMAP measurements of CMB temperature anisotropies reveal a power asymmetry: the average amplitude of temperature fluctuations in one hemisphere is larger than the average amplitude in the opposite hemisphere at the 99% confidence level. This power asymmetry may be generated during inflation by a large-amplitude superhorizon perturbation that causes the mean energy density to vary across the observable Universe.

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