Cosmology & Gravitation

This series consists of talks in the areas of Cosmology, Gravitation and Particle Physics.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

 

 

Friday Jan 25, 2008
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The history of human knowledge is often highlighted by our efforts to explore beyond our apparent horizon. In this talk, I will describe how this challenge has now evolved into our quest to understand the physics at/beyond the cosmological horizon, some twenty orders of magnitude above Columbus’s original goal.

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Tuesday Jan 22, 2008
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We consider a consistent construction of the supersymmetric action for a codimension-two brane in six-dimensional Salam-Sezgin supergravity. When the brane carries a tension, we supersymmetrize the brane tension action by introducing a localized Fayet-Iliopoulos term on the brane and modifying the bulk SUSY transformations.
As a result, we find that among the axisymmetric vacua of the system, the unwarped background with football-shaped extra dimensions respects N=1 supersymmetry. We extend the analysis to include the brane multiplets with the couplings to the bulk fields.

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Tuesday Dec 04, 2007
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Linear cosmological perturbation theory is pivotal to a theoretical understanding of current cosmological experimental data provided e.g. by cosmic microwave anisotropy probes. A key issue in this theory is to extract the gauge invariant degrees of freedom which allow unambiguous comparison between theory and experiment. In this talk we will present a manifeslty gauge invariant formulation of general relativistic perturbation theory.

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Tuesday Nov 20, 2007
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We have two strong reasons to argue that Einstein\'s theory of general relativity may be incomplete. First, given that it cannot be expressed within a consistent quantum field theory there is reason to expect higher energy corrections. Second, the observation that we are undergoing a current epoch of accelerated expansion might indicate that our understanding of gravity breaks down at the largest scales.

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Tuesday Nov 06, 2007
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I will discuss a new method of inflaton potential reconstruction that combines the flow formalism, which is a stochastic method of inflationary model generation, with an exact numerical calculation of the mode equations of quantum fluctuations. This technique allows one to explore regions of the inflationary parameter space yielding spectra that are not well parameterized as power-laws. We use this method to generate an ensemble of generalized spectral shapes that provide equally good fits to current CMB and LSS as data as do simpler power-law spectra.

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Tuesday Oct 30, 2007
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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.

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Tuesday Oct 02, 2007

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.

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Tuesday Sep 18, 2007
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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.

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