Dark Insights from Light - Cosmology and the CMB

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The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is our most direct cosmological observable, encoding critical information about the evolution and development of the universe. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has measured the angular power spectrum of the CMB temperature and temperature-polarization power spectra with unprecedented accuracy from its first year in flight. These recent observations along with developments in supernovae and galaxy surveys are generating critical challenges for theoretical physics, producing fundamental, intriguing questions in particle physics, cosmology and astrophysics that are as yet unresolved. We discuss in this seminar how the theoretical picture of the nature of dark matter and dark energy, and the origins of the universe, is being guided and modified by observations.