Cosmology & Gravitation

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

Seminar Series Events/Videos

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Tuesday Nov 05, 2019
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The influx of new and high-quality cosmological data from upcoming cosmic microwave background (CMB) and large-scale structure surveys will provide unique and exciting opportunities to study the fundamental constituents of the Universe in the upcoming few years. In particular, measurements of second-order effects in the CMB will become observationally significant for the fist time as surveys will achieve the necessary precision.

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Tuesday Oct 29, 2019
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Ghostly neutrino particles continue to bring surprises to fundamental physics, from their existence to the phenomenon of neutrino oscillation which implies that their masses are nonzero. Their exact masses, among the most curious unknowns beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, can soon be probed by the joint analysis of upcoming cosmological surveys including LSST, Euclid, WFIRST, Simons Observatory, and CMB-S4. In this talk, I will first discuss ongoing work studying the effects of massive neutrinos.

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Tuesday Oct 01, 2019
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Tuesday Sep 24, 2019
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Large galaxy surveys have dramatically improved our understanding of astrophysics and cosmology in the high-redshift universe, but they are fundamentally limited by the need to integrate long enough to detect each individual source. Line intensity mapping has recently arisen as a powerful alternative to these surveys, offering access to fainter sources and larger volumes than conventional techniques. There has been a surge of experimental interest in this technique, with surveys planned or in progress across the electromagnetic spectrum.

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Tuesday Jul 23, 2019
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We introduce two new effective quantities for the study of comoving curvature perturbations ζ: the space dependent effective sound speed (SESS) and the momentum dependent effective sound speed (MESS) .

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Tuesday Jul 16, 2019
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I’ll discuss the issue of how we can tell which quantum state might be the “right “ one for inflationary quantum fluctuations. I’ll then use a new class of states that entangle curvature fluctuations with those of a spectator scalar field and discuss potential observational signatures of such states.

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Thursday Jun 27, 2019
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Tuesday Jun 25, 2019
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It is generally believed that modification of general relativity inevitably introduce extra physical degree(s) of freedom.
In this talk I argue that this is not the case by constructing modified gravity theories with two local physical degrees of freedom. After classifying such theories into two types, I show explicit examples and discuss their cosmology and phenomenology.

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Tuesday Jun 11, 2019
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Modified gravity theories typically feature numerous additional parameters and functions as compared to general relativity, which are unmotivated by observations and challenging to meaningfully constrain. We instead propose a new theory of gravity with the startling property of having *fewer* degrees of freedom than general relativity with a cosmological constant, by invoking a duality property within a first-order formulation that supports torsion.

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Thursday May 23, 2019
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