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.
The great advances in observational cosmology in the last few years have delivered us an unprecedented amount of new data. They begin to indicate with confidence that in the past our universe underwent a phase of acceleration, called inflation, and that it is currently undergoing a similar phase, usually thought of as a consequence of a cosmological constant. I will show how inflation can be probed, using to this purpose a very general effective field theory description.
This course provides a thorough introduction to the bosonic string based on the Polyakov path integral and conformal field theory. We introduce central ideas of string theory, the tools of conformal field theory, the Polyakov path integral, and the covariant quantization of the string. We discuss string interactions and cover the tree-level and one loop amplitudes. More advanced topics such as T-duality and D-branes will be taught as part of the course. The course is geared for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students enrolled in Collaborative Ph.D. Program in Theoretical Physics.
The cosmological constant problem is arguably the deepest gap in our understanding of modern physics. The discovery of cosmic acceleration in the past decade and its surprising coincidence with cosmic structure formation has added an extra layer of complexity to the problem. I will describe how revisiting/revising some standard assumptions in the theory of gravity can decouple the quantum vacuum from geometry, which can potentially solve the cosmological constant problem.
The vacuum landscape of string theory can solve the cosmological constant problem, explaining why the energy of empty space is observed to be at least 60 orders of magnitude smaller than several known contributions to it. It leads to a 'multiverse' in which every type of vacuum is produced infinitely many times, and of which we have observed but a tiny fraction. This conceptual revolution has raised tremendous challenges in particle physics and cosmology. To understand the low-energy physics we observe, and to test the theory, we will need novel statistical tools and effective theories.
The standard cosmological model features two periods of accelerated expansion: an inflationary epoch at early times, and a dark energy dominated epoch at late times. These periods of accelerated expansion can lead to surprisingly strong constraints on models with extra dimensions. I will describe new mathematical results which enable one to reconstruct features of a higher-dimensional theory based on the behaviour of the accelerating four-dimensional cosmology. When applied to inflation, these results pose several interesting questions for the construction of concrete models.
Weak lensing has emerged as a powerful probe of fundamental physics such as dark energy and dark matter. After briefly reviewing the standard argument for the power of lensing, I present a variety of surprises: some quantities that are supposedly simple measures of cosmic shear are actually polluted by other effects and some quantities apparently unrelated to lensing are contaminated by lensing. These effects may lead to opportunities to strengthen the constraints lensing will place on dark energy.
If Dark Energy is dynamical, it would indicate the existence of new physics beyond the standard model coupled to gravity. I will argue that the best motivated models of this new physics are all tied to whatever resolves the cosmological constant problem, and discuss the cosmological implications of several proposals that have been put forward in this vein.
A simple model for chaotic inflation in supergravity is proposed. The model is N = 1 supersymmetric massive U(1)gauge theory via the Stuckelberg superfield and gives rise to D-term inflation with a quadratic term of inflaton in the potential. The Fayet-Iliopoulos field plays a role of the inflaton. It is also discussed to give rise to successful reheating and leptogenesis through the inflaton decay.
I will present three ideas about black holes and cosmology. First, I will discuss a way of understanding the simple patterns which emerge from the notoriously thorny numerical simulations of binary black hole merger, and some of the directions where this understanding may lead. Second, I will suggest a sequence of practical bootstrap tests designed to give sharp observational confirmation of the essential idea underlying the inflationary paradigm: that the universe underwent a period of accelerated expansion followed by a long period of decelerated expansion.