Title: Making Sense of the New Cosmology
Speaker: Mike Turner
Abstract:Cosmology is in its most exciting period of discovery yet. Over the past five years we have determined the basic features of the Universe -- spatially flat; accelerating; composed of 1/3rd a new form of matter, 2/3rds a new form of energy, with some ordinary matter and neutrinos; and apparently born from a burst of rapid expansion during which quantum noise was stretched to astrophysical size seeding cosmic structure. Now we have to make sense of all this: What is the dark matter particle? What is the nature of the dark energy? Why this mixture? How did the matter -- antimatter asymmetry arise? What is the underlying cause of inflation (if it occurred)? If we succeed in making sense of our Universe, this will truly be remembered as a Golden Age.
Lunch with the students will be on Thursday, October 10 at 1:00 in A-101.