NITheP cordially invites you to a seminar by: Dr. Cynthia Chiang
School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science, UKZN
Date: Friday, 4April 2014
Time: 12h20 – 13h20
Venue: NITheP Seminar Room, H-Block, 3Floor
TITLE: Observing Cosmic Inflation with Precision Microwave Background Polarimetry
The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is one of the most powerful tools for cosmology, encoding a wealth of information about the universe’s history and structure. In particular, precision CMB polarimetry has long held the promise of revealing the physics of Inflation through a minuscule “B-mode” imprint that is imparted by primordial gravitational waves. The BICEP2 collaboration recently announced a first detection of this Inflationary signature in CMB polarisation, marking the end of an experimental chase that has lasted well over a decade. I will review the theory of CMB polarisation and discuss the significance and implications of the BICEP2 result, which can be interpreted as an observational window into energy scales that are typical of Grand Unification. I will also discuss potential uncertainties in the result and the important next step of independent experimental confirmation.
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served at 12h00