This series consists of talks in the areas of Cosmology, Gravitation and Particle Physics.
The detection of primordial non-Gaussianity could provide a powerful means to rule out various inflationary scenarios. Although scale-invariant non-Gaussianity is currently best constrained by the Cosmic Microwave Background, single-field inflation models with changing sound speed can have strongly scale dependent non-Gaussianity. I will discuss the theoretical motivation for such models and present work on the likely ability of current and future large scale structure measurements to constrain them.
f(R) theories are an alternative approach at the phenomenon of cosmic acceleration, in which the Einstein-Hilbert action for gravity is modified by adding a function of the Ricci scalar, f(R). While at the background level viable f(R) models must closely mimic LCDM, the difference in their prediction for the growth of large scale structures can be sufficiently large to leave detectable signatures in future surveys. In this talk, after reviewing the conditions for the background viability of f(R) theories, I will focus on scalar perturbations.
The non-Gaussianity of the primordial cosmological perturbations will be strongly constrained by future observations like Planck. It will provide us with important information about the early universe and will be used to discriminate among models. I will review how different models of the early universe can generate different amount and shapes of non-Gaussianity.
The Origin of the Large Scale Structure is one of the key issue in Cosmology.
A plausible assumption is that structures grow via gravitational amplification
and collapse of density fluctuations that are small at early times.
The growth history of cosmological fluctuations is a fundamental observable
which helps in hunting for evidences of new physics, currently missing from our picture
of the universe, but potentially crucial to explain its past, present and future history.
I'll show how we investigated if the gradual growth of structures observed
We introduce a framework that allows to calculate cosmological perturbations in a gauge invariant manner to any order. The two main features of this framework are to take physical observables as basic objects and to treat the variables describing the background geometry as fully dynamical. Backreaction effects can therefore naturally adressed. At the end I will mention applications to Loop Quantum Cosmology.
Dark matter and dark energy can be explained without resorting to exotic fields if one accepts that the geometry of spacetime is governed by suitable generalized gravitational theories based on Lagrangians that are non-linear in the curvature of a metric and/or a torsionless linear connection, i.e. in second order and first order formalisms.
We show that the current accelerated expansion of the Universe can be explained without resorting to dark energy. Models of generalized modified gravity, with inverse powers of the curvature can have late time accelerating attractors without conflicting with solar system experiments. We have solved the Friedman equations for the full dynamical range of the evolution of the Universe. This allows us to perform a detailed analysis of Supernovae data in the context of such models that results in an excellent fit.
In the future it may be possible to observe the CMB radiation at very low frequencies. I review the origin of the signal from 21cm absorption by dark-age gas and explain the huge potential for observational cosmology. I summarise recent work on theoretical expectations for the observable power spectrum, including discussion of Hubble-scale perturbations, the effects of perturbed recombination and non-linear evolution.
Anthropic arguments based on selection effects for observers have been claimed to succesfully explain the measured value of the cosmological constant.In this talk I review the fundations of such claims in the context of probability theory and show that different (and equally legitimate) ways of assigning probabilities to candidate universes lead to totally different anthropic predictions. As an explicit example, I discuss a weighting scheme based on the total number of possible observations that observers can carry out over the entire lifetime of the Universe.