Bethe Forum
Lecture Series on "Primordial Cosmology"

Bethe Forum Program

Abstract

The moment has come! On March 21st, the Planck satellite will release its first cosmological results. This lecture series will put this exciting event into context. After a quick review of basic cosmology and the physics of the cosmic microwave background, the lectures will present a modern view on the physics of inflation. This will include some old classics (such as the quantum computation of the primordial density fluctuations) as well as more recent insights (such as the application of methods from effective field theory and string theory to inflation). Broadly speaking, the goal of the lectures is to explain what we can hope to learn about primordial cosmology and particle physics from the observations of the Planck satellite. The lectures should be accessible to both particle physicists and cosmologists.

Preliminary Schedule

  • Monday: Lectures from 10:00 (st) to 11:00 and 11:30 to 12:30, with a coffee break in between.
    Reception at 18:00.
  • Tuesday: Lectures from 10:00 (st) to 11:00 and 11:30 to 12:30, with a coffee break in between.
  • Wednesday: Lectures from 10:00 (st) to 11:00 and 11:30 to 12:30, with a coffee break in between.
  • Thurday: Lectures from 10:00 (st) to 11:30.
    Discussion session at 16:00 (st).
  • Friday: Lectures from 10:00 (st) to 11:30.

Outline of the Lecture Series

  • 0. Motivation
  • 1. Horizon Problem and Slow-Roll Inflation
  • 2. Quantum Fluctuations during Inflation
  • 3. The Cosmic Microwave Background
  • 4. Effective Theory of Adiabatic Fluctuations
  • 5. Non-Gaussianity
  • 6. Inflation in Effective Field Theory
  • 7. Inflation in String Theory
  • 8. Conclusions

Reading


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