April 17th, 2013
Slow Roll Dark Energy
Zachary Slepian, Harvard Graduate Student

Abstract: At present the Universe is undergoing an accelerated expansion of space-time itself due to dark energy. There is strong evidence that in the early Universe, there was a previous epoch of exponential expansion---inflation. A simple, observationally supported model of inflation is as a scalar field slowly rolling down the hill of its potential. Dark energy has the same phenomenology as inflation: what if it is also caused by the same mechanism? In this talk, I will present a simple analytical formula that gives the Hubble constant for a cosmology in which dark energy is either a scalar field or phantom field slowly rolling down its potential. I will show that this genre of model can be either detected or ruled out by observations in the next seven years.

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