Friday, February 20, 2015
Physics Building, Room 204
Qaisar Shafi , Bartol Institute, University of Delaware
[Host: PQ Hung]
The Standard Model of strong and electroweak interactions, together with Einstein's theory of general relativity, provide the basis for the highly successful hot big bang cosmology. A large quantity of groundbreaking cosmological observations favor an epoch of primordial inflation, during which the very early universe experienced an exponentially rapid expansion phase before transitioning to a hot, radiation dominated ('big bang') phase. The present universe, it is now widely accepted, is largely dominated by dark energy, whose nature is entirely mysterious, and also by dark matter, presumably consisting of some relic and still undetected elementary particle.
Some aspects of inflationary cosmology will be reviewed, including its prediction concerning the existence of primordial gravity waves whose discovery would have profound implications for high energy physics and cosmology.
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