New Light Species and the CMB - Joint Cosmology/Particle Physics Seminar

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The effective number of neutrino species in our universe, Neff, is capable of probing the presence of new light or massless species in our universe. I will first review relevant facts about both CMB measurements of new light species and thermodynamics in the early universe. Then, I will present the effects of many models of BSM physics containing new light species on the CMB, including models containing eV-scale sterile neutrinos compatible with anomalies in neutrino experiments, and interpret the compatibility of the parameter space of these models in terms of the recent results from the Planck satellite. I will argue that the bounds on couplings obtained from the Planck measurement of the CMB are competitive with bounds coming from other areas of physics.