The Cosmic Microwave Background: Window into New Physics

Sunday, 15 February 2015: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 230A (San Jose Convention Center)
The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) has more than proven itself as a probe of the very early universe, and its usefulness as a tool for mapping large-scale structures is also being exploited. The search for B-mode polarization of CMB photons by primordial gravitational waves has opened up new vistas, not only for cosmologists but high-energy physicists as well. The confirmation of these signals, imprinted on the CMB a mere instant after the Big Bang, would place inflation on firmer footing as the process that gave rise to our flat, homogeneous universe, and may also point toward which model of inflation – including string-based models – is responsible. And if pinning down the early growth of our universe is not enough, these signals could also hold clues to energies and quantum gravity. After a review of inflationary theory and the ideas motivating the search for CMB polarization signals, the symposium will cover the latest results by the BICEP2/Keck Array experiment and others, the promise of increasingly more precise measurements through ongoing data collection and analyses, and upgrades to next-generation CMB detectors. It will also include forward-looking discussions of what the measurements could contribute to debates regarding inflationary models, grand unified theories, and quantum gravity – ranging all the way to string theory and multiverses.
Glenn E. Roberts, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Jay Marx, California Institute of Technology
Tom Abel, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
Andrei Linde, Stanford University
A Brief History of the Birth of the Universe
Albert Stebbins, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
The Cosmos in the Large Remains Astonishingly Simple
Sarah Stokes Kernasovskiy, Stanford University
Measuring B-modes
See more of: Physics and Astronomy
See more of: Symposia