Towards fundamental physics from cosmological observations
AlbaNova and Nordita Colloquium
Thursday 28 September 2017
Hiranya Peiris (SU)
Modern fundamental physics contains ideas just as revolutionary as those of Copernicus or Newton; ideas that may radically change our understanding of the world; ideas such as extra dimensions of space, or the possible existence of other Universes. Testing these concepts requires enormous energies, far higher than what is achievable by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and in fact, beyond any conceivable Earth-bound experiments. However, at the Big Bang, the Universe itself performed the ultimate experiment and left clues and evidence about what was behind the origin of the cosmos as we know it, and how it is evolving. And the biggest clue is the afterglow of the Big Bang itself. In the past decade we have been able to answer age-old questions accurately, such as how old the Universe is, what it contains, and its destiny. Along with these answers have also come many exciting new questions. I will present an overview of current cosmological constraints from the cosmic microwave background and large galaxy surveys, and comment on some of the experimental and methodological innovations that are needed to realise the promise of upcoming surveys.