Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, and public outreach events using video cameras installed in our lecture theatres. Perimeter now has 7 formal presentation spaces for its many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities. Recordings of events in these areas are all available On-Demand from this Video Library and on Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA). PIRSA is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars from relevant bodies in physics. This resource has been partially modelled after Cornell University's arXiv.org.
While understanding the evolution of galaxies is one of the major themes of
contemporary astronomy, most empirical studies focus only on the evolution
of distribution functions (e.g., the luminosity function), effectively
treating galaxies in isolation. The new generation of large imaging and
Quantum Mechanics has been shown to provide a rigorous foundation for Statistical Mechanics. Concentration of measure, or typicality, is the main tool to construct a purely quantum derivation for the methods of Statistical Mechanics. From this point of view statistical ensembles are effective description for isolated quantum systems, since typically a random pure state of the system will have properties similar to those of the ensemble. Nevertheless, it is often argued that most of the states of the Hilbert space are not relevant for realistic systems.
Cosmic strings, generic in brane inflationary models, may be detected by the current generation of gravitational wave detectors. An important source of gravitational wave emission is from isolated events on the string called cusps and kinks. I first review cosmic strings, discussing their effective action and motion, and showing how cusps and kinks arise dynamically. I then show how allowing for the motion of the strings in extra dimensions gives a potentially significant reduction in signal strength, and comment on current LIGO bounds.
I will discuss a powerful way to examine the nature of dark energy using a measurement of the growth of galaxy clusters over cosmic time. A novel technique that uses the Cosmic Microwave Background as a backlight allows the detection of galaxy clusters out to the time of their first formation. Using this technique, I will present the first constraints on cosmological parameters obtained with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, as well as exciting prospects for the future.