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.

 

Tuesday Sep 04, 2012
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I will describe a new, generic mechanism for realizing a
period of slowly-rolling inflation through the use of an analog of 'magnetic
drift.' I will demonstrate how the mechanism works through two particular
worked examples: Chromo-Natural Inflation, which exists as a purely 4D
effective theory, and a version that can appear naturally in string theory.

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Tuesday Aug 14, 2012
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I will introduce the theory and experimental technique of extra-solar planet observation by the gravitational microlensing and give a report on recent results. Then I will discuss the wave optics features in the gravitational microlensing, the analogy of this effect in the astronomical scales to the Young's double slit experiment. Finally I will discuss about the possibility of observation of diffraction patterns in the microlensing experiment.

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Tuesday Aug 07, 2012
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Tidal stripping of dark matter from subhalos falling into the Milky Way produces narrow, cold tidal streams as well as more spatially extended ``debris flows'' in the form of shells, sheets, and plumes.Here we focus on the debris flow in the Via Lactea II simulation, and show that this incompletely phase-mixed material exhibits distinctive high velocity behavior. Unlike tidal streams, which may not necessarily intersect the Earth's location, debris flow is spatially uniform at 8 kpc and thus guaranteed to be present in the dark matter flux incident on direct detection experiments.

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Thursday Jul 26, 2012

We discuss the shortcomings of Einstein gravity at both the classical and quantum levels. We discuss the motivation for replacing Einstein gravity by conformal gravity. We show how the conformal gravity theory is able to naturally solve the quantum gravity problem, the vacuum zero-point energy problem, the vacuum zero-point pressure problem, the cosmological constant problem, and the dark matter problem.

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Tuesday Jul 24, 2012
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We will discuss the estimated densities of dark matter in the
central regions of galaxies and discuss their inconsistency with
the predictions of cold dark matter only simulations. We will focus on
the satellites of the Milky Way to highlight this issue and then
explore dark matter with significant self-interactions as a
viable alternative. Milky Way satellites also place stringent
constraints on WIMP dark matter models in a completely different way
through Fermi-LAT observations and we will summarize those results.

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Tuesday May 29, 2012
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TBA

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Tuesday May 22, 2012
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How did inflation actually happen? Precision measurements of statistical properties of primordial fluctuations generated during inflation offer a direct probe of the physics of inflation. When we calculate statistical properties of primordial fluctuations generated during inflation, we usually assume that the initial state of quantum fluctuations is in a preferred vacuum state called Bunch-Davies vacuum. While there is some motivation for choosing such a state, this is an assumption, and thus needs to be tested by observations.

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Tuesday May 15, 2012
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In this talk I provide a model where the late time acceleration of the universe emerges from a BCS-like condensation of sterile neutrinos. This scenario can be naturally accommodated by general relativity covariantly coupled to sterile neutrinos, where the neutrinos act like an "aether" field.  We show that when active neutrinos couple to the neutrino condensate, they oscillate at a rate proportional to the dark energy density.  As a result, the oscillation of neutrinos and dark energy are tied in with the same mechanism.

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Tuesday May 08, 2012
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With the emergence of the dark sector in cosmology,  a variety of modified theories of gravity have come to the fore. I will discuss a framework which can be used to test gravity on large scales and the observational programmes that might lead to the tightest constraints.

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Thursday May 03, 2012
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I will discuss string cosmology and the dynamics of multiple scalar fields in potentials that can become negative, and their features as (Early) Dark Energy models. The point of departure is the ``String Axiverse'', a scenario that motivates the existence of cosmologically light axion fields as a generic consequence of string theory. These fields can constitute part of the Dark Matter, suppressing structure formation in a manner similar to massive neutrinos. Future observations will constrain their existence to percent level accuracy.

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