This series consists of talks in the areas of Cosmology, Gravitation and Particle Physics.
A variable speed of light (VSL) cosmology is developed with a spontaneous breaking of Lorentz invariance in the early universe. A non-minimal electromagnetic coupling to curvature and the resulting quantum electrodynamic vacuum polarization dispersive medium can produce c >> c_{0} in the early universe, where c_{0} is the measured speed of light today.
In scalar-tensor gravity, black holes do not obey the Jebsen-Birkhoff theorem. Non-isolated black holes can be highly dynamical and the teleological concept of event horizon is replaced by the apparent or trapping horizon. Dynamical solutions describing inhomogeneities embedded in cosmological "backgrounds" and the phenomenology of their apparent horizons, which often appear/vanish in pairs, will be described. Isolated black holes, in contrast, have no hair and are the same as in general relativity.
This talk will try to highlight some basic problems connected with conclusions uncritically drawn from well known works. These include: 1. The Schwarzschild solution 2. The formation of black holes by gravitational collapse 3. The no hair theorem 4. The principle of equivalence in the very early universe.
The thermodynamics of black holes will be reviewed and recent developments incorporating pressure into the first law described. The asymptotically AdS Kerr metric has a van der Waals type critical point with a line of first order phase transitions terminating at a critical point with mean field exponents. The phase structure and stability of black holes in higher dimensions will also be described.
Rather than writing down specific functional forms, one can generate inflation models via stochastic processes in order to explore generic properties of inflation models. I describe our explorations of the phenomenology of randomly-generated multi-field inflation models, both for canonical fields and for a braneworld-motivated scenario. Implications of some recent observational results, including BICEP2, will be discussed.
This talk will describe the Quasi-Steady State Cosmology proposed in 1993 by Fred Hoyle, Geoffrey Burbidge and Jayant Narlikar. Starting with the motivation for this exercise, a formal field theoretic framework inspired by Mach’s principle is shown to lead to this model. The model is a generalization of the classical steady state model in the sense that it is driven by a scalar field which causes creation in explosive form. Such ‘minicreation events’ lead to a universe with a long term de Sitter expansion superposed with oscillations of shorter time scales.
Non-linear realizations of spacetime symmetries can be obtained by a generalization of the coset construction valid for internal ones. The physical equivalence of different representations for spacetime symmetries is not obvious, since their relation involves not only a redefinition of the fields but also a field-dependent change of coordinates. A simple and relevant spacetime symmetry is obtained by the contraction of the 4D conformal group that leads to the Galileon group.
The most fundamental assumption of the standard cosmological model (LambdaCDM) is that the Universe is homogeneous on large scales. This is not true on small scales, and some studies suggest that galaxies follow a fractal distribution up to very large scales (~200 h^{-1} Mpc or more), whereas ΛCDM predicts homogeneity at ~100 h^{-1} Mpc. We have tested this using the WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey, a UV-selected spectroscopic survey of ~200,000 luminous blue galaxies up to z=1, with the Anglo-Australian Telescope.
Groups and clusters of galaxies are the most massive gravitationally bound objects in the Universe. They are also the most recent cosmic objects to form. In the currently accepted models of cosmic structure formation, the number density distribution of the most massive of these systems, and how this has been changing with time, depend sensitively to the parameters describing the large-scale geometry and the expansion history of the universe. However, to exploit galaxy clusters as cosmological probes, we must be able to relate their observable properties to their total mass.
Recent observations from three different astronomical surveys have revealed evidence for asymmetries about the Galactic midplane in the kinematics of solar neighborhood stars. These asymmetries appear, in part, as compression-rarefaction modes in the bulk motions of stars perpendicular to the midplane. I will discuss the hypothesis that these motions were caused by the recent passage of a satellite galaxy or dark matter subhalo through the Galactic disk.