Graduate Seminar: The cosmic microwave background: shedding light on the Universe

Event Details

  • Speaker(s): Paula Boubel
  • Date:
  • Time: 12:30 PM
  • Location: MacN 415

Abstract

Everyone has at one point wondered to themselves - what do cosmologists even do? Besides tell us that we should stare at the static on our televisions because there might be some hint of the beginnings of the Universe in there. What could possibly be so interesting about this 'cosmic microwave background'? It's just a very uniform, cold sea of photons, after all. Actually, the cosmic microwave background has historically been a rich source of data for cosmologists. As measurements get better, we're able to extract increasingly more information about our Universe. In fact, the CMB has the potential to be a test for gravity waves and even to constrain neutrino masses! The most recent CMB measurements are incredibly precise and we've been able to use it for the first time to test for the existence of 'cosmic birefringence'. This is an effect that would imply a departure from the Standard Model (both of particle physics and cosmology) by violating parity symmetry in the Universe. This talk will answer all the burning questions you should have by now and reveal some insight into current research in cosmology.

Further Details

The talk is from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Snacks will be provided at 12:00 pm. Make sure to follow the Graduate Seminar Series on Facebook.